Something about your generation I've noticed, she said not unkindly once I had fallen silent, is that you give up very easily.
Autumn 2018. A young woman starts a job as a research assistant at Oxford. But she can't shake the feeling that real life is happening elsewhere.
Eight months later she finds herself in London. She's landed a temp contract at a society magazine and is paying £80 a week to sleep on a stranger's sofa. As the summer rolls on, tensions with her flatmate escalate. She is overworked and underpaid, spends her free time calculating the increasing austerity in England through the rising cost of Freddos.
The prospects of a permanent job seem increasingly unlikely, until she finally asks herself: is it time to give up?
**A NEW STATESMAN BOOK OF THE YEAR **
PRAISE FOR THREE ROOMS
'I was bowled over by this barbed, supple book...spiky, unsettling.' OLIVIA LAING
'Cool, sharp and perceptive' Stylist
'Crisp and resonant' New Statesman
'A phenomenal achievement' The Times
'One of the most candid and subtle explorations of class by an English novelist in recent years' TLS
'A biting dissection of privilege, race, inequality and ideology in 21st century Britain' i
'Jo Hamya is an exceptionally gifted writer...slowly but surely broke my heart' CLAIRE-LOUISE BENNETT
'Intelligent, melancholy, funny and subtle' CHRIS POWER
'Both spectral and steeped in contemporary reality' OLIVIA SUDJIC
'Resigned to renting forever and feeling guilty every time you buy a cup of coffee? You'll want to read Jo Hamya's urgent and intelligent debut' EVENING STANDARD
A phenomenal achievement. Perfectly judged set pieces at parties, offices and art galleries are infused with the illuminating and inquiring mind of an author who watches our society with an unflinching x-ray eye and tells its stories back to us with elegance and wit. And that, surely, is the mark of an excellent writer.
Biting and truthful ... A polemical novel, in a tradition of women writing about the cost of freedom that includes Woolf and leads to novelists such as Deborah Levy and Rachel Cusk ... [it] also belongs to a new genre of socially realist writing about millennial poverty and what it does to women's ambitions.
An intelligent, original examination of privilege and belonging in 21st-century England. Its account of thwarted progress proves absorbing, enriched as it is by shrewd observations and insightful meditations on the trials of modern life and the state of the nation.
A biting dissection of privilege, race, inequality and ideology in 21st-century Britain.
I was bowled over by this barbed, supple book about precarity and power, both for its spiky, unsettling intelligence and the frank beauty of the writing.
A stunning achievement. Three Rooms is both assertion and interrogation: of the world, our immediate landscape, ourselves. Hamya's writing is silken, delicate yet tough, successfully bearing the weight of deft observations that unsettle, even while they bear witness. Her assured candour is awe inspiring, truth telling rarely feels so immersive, so enjoyable a read. I'm full of curious excitement about what she'll write in the future. In every way possible, Three Rooms is a novel for our times.
Jo Hamya is an exceptionally gifted writer. Her portrait of a bright young woman struggling to get a foothold in an indifferent world is acute, informed, and deeply felt. Three Rooms slowly but surely broke my heart.
Three Rooms is brilliant, and brilliant in new ways. Jo Hamya's writing is full of unexpected angles and original, vivid approaches; it's intelligent, melancholy, funny and subtle.
Three Rooms is a masterpiece of attentiveness. Hamya's rooms are not just filled with furniture, air and light, but with social codes and gestures, politics, privileges and precarities; they are rooms filled with all the clatter and pressure and bullshit of the infosphere, and the exhausting acclivity of trying to find a meaningful home within it, or just somewhere vaguely affordable to live. Incisive, funny, sad and true: I felt every thought of it.
A meticulous portrait of a hostile present drawn from a year spent haunting others' houses, Hamya's prose is both spectral and steeped in contemporary reality.