Joanne Ramos was born in the Philippines and moved to Wisconsin when she was six. She graduated with a B.A. from Princeton University. After working in investment banking and private-equity investing for several years, she became a staff writer at The Economist. She currently serves on the board of The Moth. She lives in New York City with her husband and three children.
MFOB FEATURED BOOK: The Farm
Nestled in New York’s Hudson Valley is a luxury retreat boasting every amenity: organic meals, personal fitness trainers, daily massages — and all of it for free. In fact, the residents are paid big money to stay here — more than they could imagine. But, there’s a catch. For nine months, residents can’t leave and their movements are monitored, as they are wholly dedicated to the task of producing the perfect baby. For someone else. Jane, an immigrant from the Philippines, is searching for a better future when she commits to being a “Host” at Golden Oaks — or the Farm, as residents call it. Now pregnant, fragile, consumed with worry for her family, Jane is determined to reconnect with her life outside. But if she leaves, she will forfeit the life-changing fee she would receive upon the delivery of the child.
Gripping, provocative, heartbreaking, The Farm forces us to rethink the meaning of motherhood, money, and merit and raises crucial questions about the trade-offs women will make to secure their futures and their loved ones’ futures.