It’s 1966, and Bernice’s husband has either died or abandoned her. Her brother Floyd invites her to join him as a servant working for white owners of an old plantation house in Mississippi. Floyd warns Bernice about the housekeeper, Silva, who lives there with her two young sons. The owner and his wife don’t speak much and there seem to be secrets hidden in every corner. The Mister works, fishes, reads the paper, and eats. When the Missus, a sickly, vindictive woman, sets her plan in motion, Bernice tries to mitigate the pain that will reverberate through everyone involved. In his novel Pale (Blackstone, 2020), Farmer tells a slowly bubbling, heartbreaking story that shows a household infected by the scourges of jealousy and vengeance.
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 sunny Pasadena, California, where he is able to hike whenever he’s not reading or writing.