Praise for Three Rooms
A Most Anticipated Book of the Year from Lit Hub and The Millions
A Publishers Weekly Fall Writer to Watch
A Most Anticipated Book of the Summer from Hey Alma and iNews
A Best Book of August from Ms. Magazine and Nylon
“Three Rooms...compresses the noise of contemporary life into a record of recent events: Grenfell Tower, Boris Johnson, Brexit. But personal and everyday occurrences take up equal space in the narrator’s consciousness, and are precisely and beautifully rendered...Three Rooms invokes the reality of living in a world where a reasonable demand is resolutely categorized as unreasonable."—New York Times Book Review
“[Hamya’s] intelligence and stylistic restraint make this snapshot of England all the more damning.”—Wall Street Journal
"An excellent evisceration of contemporary life."—Boston Globe
"Hamya is brilliant at invoking the milieu in which young adults move."—Minneapolis Star-Tribune
“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, author of The Lonely City and Everybody
"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, author of Pond
"Virginia Woolf said a woman must have a room of one’s own, but Jo Hamya’s debut novel looks at what happens when that’s just economically not feasible...[A] Millennial novel about everything that’s trying to underpin our sense of security."
"A sharp statement on Millennial disenfranchisement and poverty."
"Ultra-contemporary...Hamya’s observations are biting and truthful...This is a novel about precarious housing, precarious work and precarious mental health: all things that are connected...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. But the book also belongs to a new genre of socially realist writing about millennial poverty and what that does to women’s ambitions (see Raven Leilani's Luster, Lily King's Writers and Lovers, and, most recently, Anna Glendenning’s An Experiment in Leisure)...[Hamya] is astute at portraying a new young precariat, rich in culture and education, but poor in housing and job opportunities...This is a novel in which disaffection feels real—and, at the novel’s end, the wraith-like heroine finds a heartstoppingly dramatic expression of her distress."
"Sophisticated, spiky...Strikingly thoughtful...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."
"An intelligent and 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...The narrator's candour is refreshing...A nuanced portrait of a woman's search for stability and an adult identity in an obstacle-strewn world."
"There’s no denying it strikes a chord, amplified by the beautifully spare prose—think Rachel Cusk, fresh from grad school."
"Hamya's a really exciting new voice. She's really good at awkward social comedy. I laughed a lot reading this...It's probably a philosophical novel more than anything, but also a very poetic one. The language is highly patterned and often unusual and unexpected, and that really enlivens everything that she pays attention to, whether it's leaves on the pavement or the way a parent talks to Alexa or Britain leaving the EU. She's very smart and incisive about prejudice and privilege and inequality and also about the oddness of human interaction...Really entertaining, and quite relatable...Really powerful."
—Chris Power, Monocle on Culture
"With sentences so stunning and sharp, Jo Hamya's Three Rooms devastatingly portrays the unrelenting nature of attempting to survive amidst the noise and the constraints of contemporary life. I loved this book for its grace and its confidence and for its continued unwillingness to look away."
—Lynn Steger Strong, author of Want
"Jo Hamya’s debut novel is full of astute observations on modern life, and her language pulled me in. The way she gets at current politics (Brexit, rising nationalism, etc.) through the lens of one woman is remarkable. I’m going to be thinking about this novel for a long time."
"It’s an anti-coming of age story, a bleak portrait of a generation for whom a “room of one’s own” lingers permanently out of reach."
"A prismatic portrait of British life and millennial angst emerges, with echoes of Zadie Smith and Sally Rooney, but the presiding spirit of the novel is Virginia Woolf, whose A Room of One’s Own provides the epigraph and the inspiration. Scintillating prose and sly social observation make this novel a tart pleasure."
—Kirkus, starred review
—Shelf Awareness, starred review
"In precise prose, Hamya captures the disillusionment and despair plaguing her protagonist. This perceptive debut will delight fans of Rachel Cusk."
"A spiky riff on Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own."
—Publishers Weekly, "Writers to Watch"
"[A] sharp portrait of contemporary life...Hamya's debut, a tight story of privilege and neoliberalism, rakes the muck of a wealth-hoarding society."
“A slim, intense novel that clung to me from the first page to the last. Jo Hamya’s writing is breathtaking and unlike anyone else’s—gorgeous, unflinching, and distilled, her sentences carried a quiet wisdom and surprising bursts of tenderness that cut through to my heart. Three Rooms is ...