JO HAMYA was born in London in 1997. After living in Miami for a few years, she completed an English degree at King’s College London and a MSt in contemporary literature and culture at Oxford University. There, she divided her research between updating twentieth-century cultural theory into twenty-first-century digital contexts, and the impact of social media on form and questions of identity in contemporary women’s writing. Since leaving Oxford, she has worked as a copyeditor for Tatler and edited manuscripts subsequently published by Edinburgh University Press and Doubleday UK. She has also written for the Financial Times.Three Rooms is her first novel. She lives in London.
A piercing howl of a novel about one young woman’s endless quest for an apartment of her own and the aspirations and challenges faced by the millennial generation as it finds its footing in the world, from a shockingly talented debut author
“A woman must have money and a room of her own.” So said Virginia Woolf in her classic A Room of One’s Own, but in this scrupulously observed, gorgeously wrought, debut novel, Jo Hamya pushes that adage powerfully into the twenty-first century, to a generation of people living in rented rooms. What a woman needs now is an apartment of her own, the ultimate mark of financial stability, unattainable for many.
Set over the course of one year, Three Rooms follows a young woman as she moves from a rented room at Oxford, where she’s working as a research assistant; to a stranger’s sofa, all she can afford as a copyediting temp at a society magazine; to her childhood home, where she’s been forced to return, jobless, even a room of her own out of reach. As politics shift to nationalism, the streets fill with protestors, and news drip-feeds into her phone, she struggles to live a meaningful life on her own terms, unsure if she’ll ever be able to afford to do so.