Joanne Ramos and I first met in a Ditmas writing workshop led by Rachel Sherman six years ago. There, Ramos shared the initial chapters of a novel, and her enormous talent clobbered me. The chapters introduced a Big Brother surrogacy farm, her vibrant characters, explored power dynamics, and beautifully rendered stories of Filipina caregivers. There’s one scene set in a swank Manhattan apartment (I won’t spoil it) that still has me holding my breath. After class, we became friends, swapping pages and commiserations as she tunneled deeper into the textured unfolding and unsettling landscape of The Farm.
Ramos worked in investment banking and private equity for many years, eventually transitioning into a staff writer role with The Economist. The path to publication for The Farm, Ramos’s first novel, has been a whirlwind fairytale, the kind writers dream about.
In February, I caught up with Ramos at her favorite coffee shop in Tribeca to talk about writing The Farm, her writing process, and pre-publication jitters.
Read the interview >