What is the true cost of living as a young person in 21st-century England? 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. 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. ‘Crisp and resonant… Three Rooms is a sly, artful, seductive, contentedly idiosyncratic piece of work.’ 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 ‘A novel for our times.’ COURTTIA NEWLAND ‘Intelligent, melancholy, funny and subtle.’ CHRIS POWER ‘Both spectral and steeped in contemporary reality.’ OLIVIA SUDJIC