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Nancy Farmer
Born 1941
Phoenix, Arizona, U.S.
Occupation Writer
Citizenship United States
Education B.A., Reed College (1963)
Genre Children's literature, young adult literature, fantasy and science fiction
Notable works The Ear, the Eye, and the Arm
A Girl Named Disaster
The House of the Scorpion
Sea of Trolls series
Notable awards National Book Award
Buxtehuder Bulle
Newbery Honor
1995, 1997, 2003
Spouse Harold Farmer
Children Daniel

Nancy Farmer is an American author of children's and young adult books and science fiction. She has written three Newbery Honor Books and won the U.S. National Book Award for Young People's Literature for The House of the Scorpion, published by Atheneum Books for Young Readers in 2002.


Farmer was born in Phoenix, Arizona. She earned her B.A. at Reed College (1963) and later studied chemistry and entomology at the University of California, Berkeley. She enlisted in the Peace Corps (1963–1965), and subsequently worked in Mozambique and Rhodesia (present-day Zimbabwe), where she studied biological methods of controlling the tsetse fly between 1975–1978. She met her future husband, Harold Farmer, at the University of Rhodesia (now the University of Zimbabwe). After a week-long courtship, the two were married. Farmer currently lives in the Chiricahua Mountains in Arizona with her husband; they have one son, Daniel.


  • Lorelei: The Story of a Bad Cat (Harare, Zimbabwe: College Press, 1987)
  • The Eye, the Ear, and the Arm (College Press, 1989)
  • Tapiwa's Uncle (College Press, 1993)
  • Do You Know Me, illustrated by Shelley Jackson (Orchard Books, 1993)
  • The Ear, the Eye and the Arm (Orchard, 1994)
  • The Warm Place (Orchard, 1995)
  • A Girl Named Disaster (Orchard, 1996)
  • The House of the Scorpion (Atheneum Books, 2002)
  • A New Year's Tale (2013) – paperback and e-book for adults
  • The Lord of Opium (2013) – sequel to The House of the Scorpion

The Sea of Trolls trilogy

Picture books

  • Runnery Granary, illus. Jos. A. Smith (Greenwillow Books, 1996) – A Mystery Must Be Solved—Or the Grain is Lost!
  • Casey Jones's Fireman: The Story of Sim Webb, illus. James Bernardin (New York: Phyllis Fogelman Books, 1999)
  • Clever Ali, illus. Gail De Marcken (Orchard, 2006)

Short stories

  • "The Mirror", L. Ron Hubbard Presents Writers of the Future, Volume IV (1988), pp. 35–65 – collection of twelve 1987 finalists; "The Mirror" won the grand prize
  • "Tapiwa's Uncle", Cricket (February 1992)
  • "Origami Mountain", The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror: Sixth Annual Collection (1992)
  • "Falada: the Goose Girl's Horse", A Wolf At the Door, eds. Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling (2000)
  • "Remember Me", Firebirds: An Anthology of Original Fantasy and Science Fiction, ed. Sharyn November (2003)
  • "Bella's Birthday Present", Can You Keep a Secret, ed. Lois Metzger (2007)
  • "The Mole Cure", Fantasy and Science Fiction (August 2007)
  • "Ticket to Ride", Firebirds Soaring: An Anthology of Original Speculative Fiction, ed. Sharyn November (2008)
  • "Castle Othello", Troll's Eye View, eds. Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling (2009)


"The Mirror" (1987)

  • 1988, Writers of the Future Grand Prize

The Ear, the Eye and the Arm (1994)

A Girl Named Disaster (1996)

The House of the Scorpion (2002)

The Land of the Silver Apples (2007)

  • 2007, Emperor Norton Award ("extraordinary invention and creativity unhindered by the constraints of paltry reason")
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