The Farm by Joanne Ramos

book spine on side of sofa, the farm by joanne ramos

a nutshell: an eerie depiction of hypercapitalism & bodily colonisation, this novel follows a Filipina immigrant to the US who commits to being a ‘Host’ at Golden Oaks – a venture sort of like the Uber of pregnancies, where immigrants are paid to get a foetus from A (insemination) to B (birth) for the convenience of rich clients

a line: “But how many Good, Obedient Anyones truly make it in the world?”

an image: Ramos often conjures up an acutely oppressive atmosphere in her portrayal of life at the ‘Farm’, particularly in one scene where she describes humble bloated bodies, a crushing sky above, and the possibility of unnoticed shards of glass below (after a bottle is smashed)

a thought: this book was suggested by Cara Teo Ong, aka thebookingchild, who got in touch with the idea of a ‘buddy read’; after we had both read the novel, we shared our thoughts – take a look at Cara’s recap of our conversation here & read her own review here!

a fact: yesterday I stumbled across a news article (through my work in women’s rights) about 32 Cambodian women who received suspended jail terms for carrying the babies of Chinese clients – this is no ‘dystopia’, this is now

want to read The Farm? visit here

Behold the Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue

Behold the Dreamers book by Imbolo Mbue against brick wall

a nutshell: seeking a ‘better life’ in NYC for his Cameroonian family while striving for a green card, Jende finds employment as a chauffeur for a Lehman Brothers exec and discovers how bleak the Manhattan lifestyle is below its glittering surface

a line: “American women do not use love potions.”  “That’s what you think? … They call it lingerie.”

an image: Jende contrasts the 2008 financial crisis with the curse that befell Ancient Egypt, which he blames on Egyptians choosing riches over righteousness, worshipping idols and enslaving fellow humans – the Americans did no such thing, he believes

a thought: I’ll try not to say too much, but the ending felt beyond crushing, particularly in its seemingly normalised misogyny

a fact: Mbue lost her own job in the 2008 crash and was inspired to write this novel when observing drivers, who were predominantly black, waiting on Wall Street

 

want to read Behold the Dreamers? visit here