My Life in Books

Why Polaris Music Prize finalist Hubert Lenoir loves Darlène, the companion novel for his solo album

The Quebecois musician discusses the French-language book that shares the same name as his 2018 debut record.

'There's so many reasons why it's meaningful to me.'

Hubert Lenoir is a musician originally from Quebec City. (Hubert Lenoir)

Hubert Lenoir's debut album Darlène is an eclectic mix of French chanson, jazz, pop and soul music. Originally from Quebec City, the singer's album is on the shortlist for the 2018 Polaris Music Prize, presented by CBC Music

The $50,000 award is presented to the artist who creates the Canadian album of the year. CBC Music will stream this year's Polaris Music Prize gala live on Sept. 17, 2018, hosted by CBC Music Mornings host Raina Douris.

Lenoir told CBC Books that his album's companion piece, a French-language novel by his partner Noémie D. Leclerc titled Darlène, is the book that has had an impact on his life lately.

"This book. Darlène. There's so many reasons why it's meaningful to me. Of course, it's written by my soulmate, partner, manager, lover, best friend for life, but above all, this book is more than a book.

"This book, to me, is a true masterpiece talking about life as whole. Noémie's writing is so unique and sophisticated, she can write about coming of age, emancipation, family tensions, suicide thoughts and still keep it neutral, leaving it all to the reader so he can make his own interpretation of the situations.

"This book is also part of my first album ever, it's part of a multidisciplinary project I did with her, my first artwork. Looking back, this book is kind of the beginning of a long series of first times. My first first ever. It changed my life and it's probably the most beautiful thing I've accomplished yet."

Hubert Lenoir on the 2018 Polaris Music Prize shortlist:

Hubert Lenoir's debut solo album Darlène is a finalist for the 2018 Polaris Music Prize. 1:51

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