Nelson author Jennifer Craig has been shortlisted for the Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour for her 2017 novel Gone to Pot. Photo submitted

Nelson author shortlisted for humour award

Jennifer Craig’s novel Gone to Pot is nominated for the prestigious Leacock Medal

Bill Metcalfe

Nelson author Jennifer Craig has made the short list for the Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour for her 2017 novel Gone to Pot.

“I’m going to Ontario next week to be wined and dined, and they will announce the winner on Saturday,” Craig told the Star this week. The awards gala takes place in Leacock’s hometown of Orillia, Ontario.

Craig, who writes both fiction and nonfiction, is perhaps best known for her memoir Yes Sister, No Sister: A Leeds Nurse in the 1950s, which sold more than 160,000 copies in the UK.

Craig joins authors Laurie Gelman and Scaachi Koul on the shortlist. The award, which comes with a $15,000 prize, goes to the best Canadian book of literary humour published in the previous year. Previous winners include Stuart McLean, Arthur Black, Will Ferguson, Mordecai Richler, and Bill Richardson.

Gone to Pot is set in Nelson and chronicles the adventures of Jess, a woman who loses her waitress job when the restaurant burns down. She’s left with a house but no income and falls on hard times, having to visit the food bank.

“She finds this appalling.” Craig said. “She always donated to food banks, and the fact she has to use one just blows her away. She can’t get a job because she is 64, and 64-year-olds don’t make it in the job market.”

On her way back from the food bank she bumps into a fellow waitress, a young woman with the decidedly Nelsonesque name of Swan, who asks Jess how it’s going.

“Everything has gone to pot,” Jess says, thus kicking off her new career, with Swan’s help.

“So Jess ends up with two lives – she has the life where she is grandmother and a friend of many older women, and she moves into the pot growing environment and learns all about that.”

Craig said she had to research the pot growing world and how young people talk.

The turning point comes when Jess has to learn how to use a computer and discovers ads for male enhancement pills and wonders if they would work on the limp and wilted pot plants in her basement.

The result is a fortune for Jess and a surprising humanitarian choice about what to do with the money.

“It’s a Cinderella story,” said Craig. “A rags to riches story.”

Just Posted

RDCK to purchase lands around Cottonwood Lake

21.6 hectares will be purchased for $450,000

COLUMN: Helping my father keep his dignity as he was dying

Nelson teacher Robyn Sheppard reflects on the life and death of her father

Nelson presents proposed 2019 budget with undecided tax increase

Further details will be available after a council meeting in April.

Nelson to get legal opinion on right-to-life street banner

Does the Nelson Right to Life banner violate the Charter of Rights?

Celebrate World Water Day in Crescent Valley

The event is organized by the Perry Ridge Watershed Association

VIDEO: Restaurant robots are already in Canada

Robo Sushi in Toronto has waist-high robots that guide patrons to empty seats

Permit rejected to bring two cheetahs to B.C.

Earl Pfeifer owns two cheetahs, one of which escaped in December 2015

Real-life tsunami threat in Port Alberni prompts evacuation updates

UBC study says some people didn’t recognize the emergency signal

Care providers call for B.C. seniors’ watchdog to step down

The association also asks the province to conduct an audit and review of the mandate of her office

Nitro Cold Brew Coffee from B.C. roaster recalled due to botulism scare

“If you purchased N7 Nitro Cold Brew Coffee from Cherry Hill … do not drink it.”

B.C. man gets award for thwarting theft, sexual assault – all in 10 minutes

Karl Dey helped the VPD take down a violent sex offender

Baby left alone in vehicle in B.C. Walmart parking lot

Williams Lake RCMP issue warning after attending complaint at Walmart Wednesday

College of the Rockies to add 96 beds for student housing in Cranbrook

$17.7 million project featuring six cottege-style buildings to be completed by 2020

Nowhere to grieve: How homeless people deal with loss during the opioid crisis

Abbotsford homeless advocate says grief has distinct challenges for those living on the streets

Most Read