Joanne Ramos sat down with the Titas for a lively discussion about The Farm, motherhood, privilege and the American Dream. Joanne was in town for Vancouver Writer’s Fest last October.
Listen to the full interview HERE.
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The Farm has been nominated for the NAACP Image Award for “Outstanding Literary Work-Debut Author.” Click here to read about the awards and to see the full list of nominees.
“For a novel about the ruthlessness of capitalism, Ramos demonstrates remarkable tenderness for her characters.”
–Jessica Weisberg, The New Yorker
Read the full review here!
“…instead of relying on easy villains in a story that quickly turns sinister, Ramos turns to three of the issues that divide America: race, class and immigration. Nuanced characters and a fast-paced narrative elevate a story that might otherwise feel weighed down by its themes.”
Read more and see the full list here!
“All these books remind us of the human stories behind the headlines and to be thankful for what we have got.“
—Patricia Nicol, The Daily Mail
“Don’t worry so much about having a plan. Don’t feel such pressure to know where you’re going.”
Read Joanne’s advice to her 18 year-old self and much more here!
When Joanne Ramos was trying to get a literary agent after writing The Farm, she pitched her debut novel as “Handmaid’s Tale meets The Help.”
In Ramos’s The Farm, women voluntarily sign up to live in a luxury retreat and act as surrogates for rich clients. They are paid handsomely and many, such as the main protagonist Jane, are poor and in desperate need of funds. But as the novel progresses, the women’s rights and ability to control their body is slowly stripped away, albeit with a smile and excuses about protecting the health of the foetus. The book sprang from the author’s conflicted feelings about capitalism and the myth that meritocracy is the major driver of economic success.
Read the full article from the Calgary Herald here!
If you haven’t read Joanne Ramos’ The Farm yet, you should.
Even though the novel is her debut work, it’s taking the literary world by storm. Verging on dystopian, The Farm imagines a world not too different from our own, where lower class, marginalized women sign away their wombs — and a year of their life — to serve the wealthy upper classes.
Cold Tea Collective had a chance to ask the Filipina-American writer about her book, and the life and ideas that inspired it.
Read the whole interview here!
You can find the AudioBook here! Check out what Booklist had to say about it below:
“The clash of race, ethics, class, and ambition drives Ramos’ scintillating debut, made even more impressive by de Leon’s compelling narration, in which she gifts the characters with distinct tones, accents, and personalities. That both author and reader share Filipina American backgrounds adds enhanced empathic rapport. That both prove to be such accomplished literary first-timers signals promising future endeavors, as well.”
‘”So much of my life I have been self-deprecating,’ Ramos explains. ‘I almost took it as a way to be humble […] I would say, ‘oh the timing was great for it,’ or ‘oh but I really lucked out.’ Especially in the wake of all the praise The Farm was receiving, Ramos found herself constantly deflecting praise — and her family took notice.”
Read the whole article here!
Mandatory Credit: Photo by Aurora Rose/SheMedia/Shutterstock
“Beyond the hot-button issues of the woman’s rights to choose what to do with their bodies (and how those rights can be controlled by others) and the plights of immigrants—particularly the OFWs—’The Farm’ thrills by turning the tables on the reader…”
—Ruel S. De Vera, Philippine Daily Inquirer
On Thursday, October 19th, Joanne will be honored at the annual BlogHer Creator’s Summit as one of their Voices of the Year. She will be speaking at the summit with actress and producer, Julianna Margulies.
The New York Times named The Farm a must-read novel to prepare for the sequel to Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale!
The Farm has been named one of the “Best Fiction Books by Women This Year” by Marie Claire Magazine! Marie Claire had previously selected The Farm as their June book club pick. If you’re reading along, don’t forget to post your review on social media using the hashtag #ReadWithMC!
Click here to read Marie Claire’s full list of new fiction by women!
The Farm is an insightful and beautifully crafted novel that explores surrogacy, the intersection of wealth and privilege and the intimate lives of migrant women in America. It is eerily insightful into a not-so-distant future where the exploitation of women’s bodies will become even more normalised.
Read the full interview here!
Watch this space for “So Beautiful,” Joanne’s upcoming piece for Popshot Magazine!
Read the announcement here!
Joanne sat down with Zibby Owens to talk about Joanne’s debut novel, The Farm. You can listen to the whole episode here!
Fans of Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, will either be familiar with (or certainly should know about) unnerving dystopian thriller, The Farm, by Joanne Ramos.
The Farm asks big questions about how much of ourselves we are prepared to trade in return for a comfortable life. The novel is centred around luxury fertility clinic, Golden Oaks, which houses a group of women in varying stages of pregnancy… but the babies growing inside them are destined for the rich and powerful and the women soon come to realise that their surrogacies come at a chilling cost. The Farmpowerfully imagines what could well happen if surrogacy was taken to its high-capitalist extreme.
To mark our July digital issue starring Yvonne Strahovski, Joanne Ramos writes exclusively for GLAMOUR about how her groundbreaking novel is an eerie reflection of modern society.
Read the article >
GLOBE & MAIL BESTSELLER IN CANADA
CHOSEN BY OVER 30 OUTLETS AS A “MUST-READ” BOOK OF 2019 INCLUDING:
THE NEW YORK TIMES, WALL STREET JOURNAL, THE ATLANTIC, AND OPRAH MAGAZINE
THE SKIMM ‘S INAUGURAL BOOK-CLUB PICK
LONG-LISTED FOR THE 2019 CENTER FOR FICTION FIRST NOVEL PRIZE
“Equal parts feminist dystopia and immigrant story, Ramos’s debut novel couldn’t be more relevant or timely.”
–O: The Oprah Magazine
“So many factors—gender, race, religion, class—may determine where you come down on the surrogacy debate…. Joanne Ramos plays with many of these notions in her novel, The Farm, which imagines what might happen were surrogacy taken to its high-capitalist extreme. “
–The New York Times
“The Farm, Joanne Ramos’s 2019 debut novel, is a potent tangle of these themes: the corrosive allure of privilege, the ethics of putting a price on fertility, the fine line between employment and exploitation.”
“This topical, provocative debut anatomizes class, race and the American dream.”
“This is good stuff, and Ramos plumbs both sides of the questions with sympathy and insight…her ability to explore the nuances of these questions in the first place…makes me hopeful that Ramos will pen another book soon.”
-Los Angeles Review of Books
“…her ability to explore the nuances of these questions in the first place — in tight, spare prose, with well-placed plotting, no less — makes me hopeful that Ramos will pen another book soon.”
— Hayley Phelan, Los Angeles Review of Books
Listen to the full episode here (or find it on the streaming service of your choice)!
The Farm is a Skimm Reads pick in the Daily Skimm Newsletter! Here’s what they had to say about it:
“Imagine an all-expenses paid luxury spa retreat for women. The catch? You have to carry someone else’s baby to be there. This one’s like “The Handmaid’s Tale” meets Liane Moriarty (“Big Little Lies” author).”
–The Daily Skimm; July 3rd, 2019
The Canadian talk show Cityline chose The Farm as it’s June book-club pick! I absolutely loved speaking to the dynamic and beautiful Tracy Moore about the book, straddling worlds, and how most people are neither villains nor saints, but complex, conflicted beings.
At a book event in Toronto in May, I met Melissa Grelo, the moderator of the popular Canadian talk show, The Social. She told me that The Social’s book club, Social Chapter, had chosen The Farm to be its June book! See the announcement here!
What fun speaking with Carolyn MacKenzie about The Farm on the popular Canadian morning TV show, The Morning Show!
“What’s so striking about The Farm isn’t that it imagines a frightening dystopia. This isn’t a hundred years in the future, it’s next week…Its very plausibility is a warning shot.”
“Every season has its Big Book, the one everyone is talking about, and this season, it’s The Farm. This debut by Joanne Ramos is as good as most first novels get.”
–Globe and Mail (Canada)
“Some novels are born with book club DNA, great narratives that can also spur energetic discussions. Debate will rage around the treatment of the young women at the Farm, but the novel’s complex mélange of personalities brings a somewhat improbable story stirringly to life.”
“Unnervingly plausible…Ms. Ramos inhabits each character with affection, sensitivity and a keen ear for voice.”
“The Handmaid’s Tale meets The Help.”
—The Times (UK)
“A haunting read . . . Ramos has crafted a real page-turner that combines all the hottest issues of the day…”
–The Times (UK)
“A brilliant satire about privilege.”
—The New York Post
“…jaw-dropping – perhaps because…it could very easily be real … the novel’s main takeaway is clear: while the world of The Farm may currently be fictional dystopia, it could conceivably become reality. A terrifying thought.”
—Jane Bradley, The Scotsman
“[an] impressive debut…It is easy to read The Farm and state that the novel is about colonialism, capitalism and women’s rights. But the novel is rarely preachy, with a captivating plot and well-constructed characters to drive the narrative forward. It is as if Ramos writes from a standpoint so intrinsically intersectional that her ideas surface unconsciously, and somehow also unapologetically.”
—The Saturday Paper, Australia
“Subtle and at times thrilling, The Farm is a dystopia born of the world in which we live. It feels anything but removed from our current reality.”
—Bridey Heing, Paste Magazine
—Margaret Cannon, The Globe and Mail
“Unnervingly plausible…Ms Ramos inhabits each [character] with affection, sensitivity and a keen ear for voice. Together, these women tell a story of an America in which ‘you must be strong young if you are not rich.’”
Joanne Ramos’s debut novel The Farm, which explores women’s control over their bodies, has been compared to The Handmaid’s Tale. She talks to Vogue about what inspired her tale of a surrogacy facility for the super-rich, and why, in the face of recent alarming changes to reproductive rights, she believes optimism is women’s “only choice”.
“I couldn’t have predicted it,” Joanne Ramos says of the timeliness of her debut novel, The Farm. It’s set in a not-all-that-implausible world in which the offspring of the one per cent are carried to term by “Hosts”, recruited to lease out their bodies for nine months in exchange for a stipend, plus the promise of a delivery bonus that could prove life-changing for a young, fertile woman with limited financial prospects.
The surrogates – most of whom are black or Filipino, with a minority of white women marketed as “premiere” Hosts – are housed in spa-like luxury at Golden Oaks, a farm in upstate New York with chef-prepared meals and massages on tap. But they are also kept under 24-hour surveillance, their emails are monitored, and visits from their own children are restricted as a means of “incentivisaton”.
Given that The Farm explores women’s agency over their bodies, it makes for particularly pertinent reading at a time when their reproductive rights are under threat – nowhere more conspicuously so than in America. Earlier this month, Georgia became the sixth state to outlaw abortion after the six week mark. Last week Alabama took things further still, voting on 14 May to ban abortion in virtually all cases, a decision that prompted an outcry from women (and men) all over the world.
Joanne is Marie Claire’s #ReadWithMC author of the month! Read her Q&A here!
“At the heart of surrogacy lie questions about choice and power, but Ramos says she has nothing against it. ‘I guess I would question how far we’ve pushed so many things into the realm of markets. I just wonder what that does to our relationships.’ When value is conflated with price, as happens so often in our society, things get warped, she says: ‘Certain things which are unpaid, like motherhood, are not even seen until they’re outsourced. Does surrogacy make people value pregnancy more … or does it diminish it because it’s just another thing to buy?'” Read the rest of the interview here!