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About the Author
Edward A. Farmer is a native of Memphis, Tennessee, where he journaled and cultivated stories his entire childhood. He is a graduate of Amherst College with a degree in English and psychology, and recipient of the MacArthur-Leithauser Travel Award for creative writing. He currently lives and writes in Pasadena, California. Pale is his first novel.
"Edward A. Farmer's novel, Pale, takes readers on a twisting, turning journey of unexpected passions, forbidden love, and practiced cruelty. His sumptuous prose creates an operatic vision of life on a cotton plantation in 1960s Mississippi, a world on the cusp of great change that many of its characters resist with all their power. Farmer's debut marks the emergence of an exciting new voice in American fiction."-- "May-lee Chai, author of Useful Phrases for Immigrants: Stories and Dragon Chica"
"Edward A. Farmer's Pale is a novel that surges full force into the power of language. The music of the words builds and builds, rendering tension as thick as the humid Mississippi air. The characters overflow with this music, driven by intense passions, often to the point of madness. They try to make melody of circumstance and loss, but instead find only dissonance. Farmer orchestrates this story with the genius of a maestro, only releasing the reader through a deft and lovely resolution in the novel's final pages. A striking debut by an author to watch."-- "Zach Powers, author of First Cosmic Velocity and Gravity Changes"
"Edward Farmer's powerful debut, Pale, lures you in with its atmospheric prose, grabbing hold gently and then slowly tightening its emotional grip with each page. His main character, Bernice, must navigate Mississippi plantation life circa 1966 with its deeply embedded racism and well-established patriarchy, as well as the complex tensions between both Mr. and Mrs. Kerns and their servants. It's a beautifully wrought novel, with each character sensitively drawn, exposing the lasting effects of trauma. Farmer is a writer to watch!"-- "John Copenhaver, author of the Macavity Award-winning Dodging and Burning"
"More than once I had to remind myself to take a deep breath while reading Pale. It's a slow walk through a poetic dream, or rather an inescapable nightmare. Edward Farmer deftly portrays characters that are trapped by choices other people made long ago. A beautiful exploration of the tension between choices and circumstances. The evil of intergenerational racism is revealed by the preference to live in a quicksand of hatred, to choose slow vengeance over breaking free."-- "Laila Ibrahim, bestselling author of Yellow Crocus"
"Farmer's debut captures the delicate and dangerous lose-lose reality of a person in Bernice's position...Farmer opens with cotton imagery and returns to it throughout, disallowing any visions of beautiful, puffy whiteness...The story's rewards and Bernice's experience are important."-- "Booklist"
"The plot and writing are evocative of the work of the late Ernest Gaines; it's a story simply and directly told, and by that simplicity and directness it exposes familial cruelties and kindnesses in equal measure. This is a promising beginning for a writer who, whether he realizes it or not, continues a rich and lyrical narrative tradition. A beautiful first novel."-- "Library Journal (starred review)"