Orange Is the New Black: My Year in a Women’s Prison by Piper Kerman.
A compelling look at Kerman’s experiences in the Federal prison system. Some of her experiences had me shaking my head in amazement, especially related to just how slowly the system works at times. The time she had to wait (and wait, and wait, and wait) to serve her sentence and get it behind her seemed crazy.
If you’re interested in memoirs in particular, or prison accounts, this is a good choice. It’s not one that I would say is without a doubt worth reading whether or not you think you’re interested, but I enjoyed it enough that I was somewhat disappointed to come to the end. I was curious to know what happened next with Kerman, and about her transition back to life outside of prison.
And I’ll admit, I kind of wish I had Netflix now because apparently the book is the basis for a series there. It’d be interesting to see how it translates onto the screen, but I’m not interested enough to sign up for a subscription.
Update: Thanks to Mimi for sharing a link to an NPR show about the TV version of Orange is the New Black. Super interesting, and it links through to some other interviews as well.
With a career, a boyfriend, and a loving family, Piper Kerman barely resembles the reckless young woman who delivered a suitcase of drug money ten years before. But that past has caught up with her. Convicted and sentenced to fifteen months at the infamous federal correctional facility in Danbury, Connecticut, the well-heeled Smith College alumna is now inmate #11187–424—one of the millions of people who disappear “down the rabbit hole” of the American penal system. From her first strip search to her final release, Kerman learns to navigate this strange world with its strictly enforced codes of behavior and arbitrary rules. She meets women from all walks of life, who surprise her with small tokens of generosity, hard words of wisdom, and simple acts of acceptance. Heartbreaking, hilarious, and at times enraging, Kerman’s story offers a rare look into the lives of women in prison—why it is we lock so many away and what happens to them when they’re there.
Title: Orange Is the New Black: My Year in a Women’s Prison
Author: Piper Kerman
Category: Nonfiction / Memoir
My Rating: 3.5 Stars
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