Jonathan Cape has scooped an “exceptional” debut novel from journalist and former Waterstones bookseller Jo Hamya.
Ana Fletcher, senior editor, acquired UK and Commonwealth rights to Three Rooms for publication in summer 2021. Rights were acquired from Harriet Moore at the David Higham Agency.
The blurb explains: “Three Rooms follows a year in the life of a young woman as she moves from a rented room while working at Oxford University, to couch surfing as a casually contracted worker at England’s last society magazine, before ending up, jobless, on a train back to her childhood bedroom. As government politics shift to nationalism and the streets are filled with protestors, the narrator struggles to make sense of the constant drip-feed of information coming through her phone, wanting desperately to live a meaningful life on her own terms. In Three Rooms, Jo Hamya has written an incisive, funny and moving debut about privilege, race, belonging and what it takes to call a place home in 21st-century England.”
Hamya was born in London in 1997 and has worked as a copyeditor at Tatler and a bookseller at Waterstones. Her journalism has been published in the Financial Times and the British Blacklist.
Fletcher added: “Jo Hamya has written one of the most astute and moving novels I have read about the aspirations and challenges faced by her generation as it finds a footing in the world. Jo has a talent the likes of which only comes along very rarely, and we couldn’t be prouder to be publishing her exceptional debut at Jonathan Cape.”
Hamya said she was “incredibly grateful to the teams at Cape, Vintage and David Higham for the faith and passion they have already poured into this book.”