Three Rooms (Hardback)Jo Hamya (author)
- 10+ in stock
Unflinching in its portrayal of twenty-first century life, Hamya’s startlingly accomplished debut poses vital questions about race, politics and ideology through the struggles of an educated young woman adrift in a country where inequality is deepening, and nationalism is on the rise.
From a major new voice in fiction, an incisive and poignant debut about politics, race and belonging in 21st-century England.
How do you change from place to place? It's autumn 2018 and a young woman moves into a rented room in university accommodation, ready to begin a job as a research assistant at Oxford. Here, living and working in the spaces that have birthed the country's leaders, she is both outsider and insider, and 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 GBP80 a week to sleep on a stranger's sofa. Summer rolls on and England roils with questions around its domestic civil rights: Brexit, Grenfell, climate change, homelessness. As government politics shift to nationalism and the streets are filled with protestors, she struggles to make sense of the constant drip-feed of information coming through her phone. Meanwhile, tensions with her flatmate escalate, she is overworked and underpaid, and the prospects of a permanent job seem increasingly unlikely, until finally she has to ask herself: what is this all for?
Incisive, original and brilliantly observed, Three Rooms is the story of a search for a home and for a self. Driven by despair and optimism in equal measure, the novel poignantly explores politics, race and belonging, as Jo Hamya asks us to consider the true cost of living as a young person in 21st-century England.
Publisher: Vintage Publishing
Number of pages: 208
Weight: 290 g
Dimensions: 204 x 138 x 23 mm
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. -- Shahidha Bari * Guardian *
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. * Economist *
A biting dissection of privilege, race, inequality and ideology in 21st-century Britain. * i *
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. -- OLIVIA LAING
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. -- COURTTIA NEWLAND
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. -- CLAIRE-LOUISE BENNETT
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. -- CHRIS POWER
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. -- JACK UNDERWOOD
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. -- OLIVIA SUDJIC
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Although quite depressing, this book is a beautiful insight into a woman in her twenties, coping with finding herself, a job and some place to live in without rent eating up half of her earnings. And so much Brexit talk. More
“Real Life is Tough”
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“Through her central character, Jo Hamya explores important aspects of our very unequal British society.”
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