Joanne Ramos

Cindy Seip

Born in the Philippines, Joanne Ramos moved to Wisconsin when she was six. She graduated from Princeton, and worked in investment banking and private-equity investing for several years and later became a staff writer at The Economist. The setting her novel The Farm (Random House) is Golden Oaks, a luxury retreat nestled in New York’s Hudson Valley that boasts every amenity: organic meals, personal fitness trainers, and daily massages. Moreover, you’re paid big money to stay there. But for nine months you cannot leave the grounds, your movements are monitored, and you are cut off from your former life while you dedicate yourself to the task of producing the perfect baby — for someone else. Golden Oaks, The Farm as residents call it, is a facility housing surrogates carrying the children of the one percenters of the one percenters. In her novel, Ramos pushes to the extremes our thinking on motherhood, money, and merit and raises crucial questions about the trade-off’s women will make to fortify their futures and the futures of those they love. USA Today noted that “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. This is reality, nudged just a touch to its logical extreme. Its very plausibility is a warning shot.”