When their friend dies by suicide in a vacant lot in Montreal's impoverished East End, three young women strike out into the world of the 2010s to define their identities, sexualities and political commitments. From the precariousness of growing up speaking French in an English-speaking city to the grind of service jobs and the elation of romantic discovery, this novel-in-stories deftly weaves together a variety of perspectives to recount the lives of three young women as they experience restless wandering, deep friendship, emotional betrayal, solidarity in the face of conjugal violence, gender transition and anti-globalization protests. Moving from Ottawa and Montreal to California and back, The Music Game captures the experience of the millennial generation like no other novel.
Born and raised in Ottawa, Ontario, Stéfanie Clermont travelled throughout Canada and the United States, working at a wide variety of jobs, before settling in Montreal in 2012. The Music Game, her first book, won the prestigious Ringuet Prize of the Quebec Academy of Arts and Letters, the Quebec Arts Council's prize for a new work by a young artist, and the Adrienne Choquette Prize for short stories. It was a finalist for the Grand Prix du Livre de Montréal and was included in Le Combat des livres, the French-language counterpart of Canada Reads.
JC Sutcliffe is a writer and translator. Her most recent translations include Worst Case, We Get Married by Sophie Bienvenu and Mama's Boy Behind Bars by David Goudreault. She has lived in England, France and Canada.
Praise for the French edition of The Music Game
"A remarkably well constructed first book."—La Presse (Montreal)
"The reader isn't spared the characters' suffering, and what shines is a new voice, one we're eager to hear more from."—Publishers Weekly (Quebec supplement)
"In The Music Game the moments when everything shifts are numerous and hold readers breathless because we know that nothing can be taken for granted, that a sudden reversal in fate or the unexpected reaction of a female character can turn everything upside down at the turn of a page."—Les libraires (Montreal)
"The voices Clermont creates make themselves heard as a rich, unusual pleasure of the sort one rarely encounters."—Revue Spirale (Montreal)
"In spite of the lack of ambition of its rather directionless characters, Clermont’s collection proves to be a work of a breadth that is quite unusual in the Quebec literary landscape."—Revue Liberté (Montreal)
"The Music Game has a very contemporary vibe in which the desire to live opens a makeshift path between apathy and revolt. Precision, lyricism, deep feeling: a hit for the youth of the 2010s."—Grazia (France)