Orange Is The New Black: My Year In A Women's Prison

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Orange Is The New Black: My Year In A Women's Prison

by Piper Kerman

Random House Publishing Group | April 6, 2010 | Hardcover

Orange Is The New Black: My Year In A Women's Prison is rated 4 out of 5 by 2.
NOW A NETFLIX ORIGINAL SERIES • #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
 
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.
 
Praise for Orange Is the New Black
 
“Fascinating . . . The true subject of this unforgettable book is female bonding and the ties that even bars can’t unbind.”People (four stars)
 
“I loved this book. It’s a story rich with humor, pathos, and redemption. What I did not expect from this memoir was the affection, compassion, and even reverence that Piper Kerman demonstrates for all the women she encountered while she was locked away in jail. I will never forget it.”—Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love
 
“This book is impossible to put down because [Kerman] could be you. Or your best friend. Or your daughter.”Los Angeles Times
 
“Moving . . . transcends the memoir genre’s usual self-centeredness to explore how human beings can always surprise you.”USA Today
 
“It’s a compelling awakening, and a harrowing one—both for the reader and for Kerman.”—Newsweek.com

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 320 pages, 9.74 × 6.38 × 1.26 in

Published: April 6, 2010

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0385523386

ISBN - 13: 9780385523387

Found in: Biography and Memoir

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Reviews

Rated 3 out of 5 by from Eye Opening Ten years ago, Piper Kerman was a young reckless, carefree recent college graduate. Not knowing what else to with her life she made some decisions and those choices have finally caught up to her. Ten years prior she delivered a suitcase of drug money to Europe never dreaming she’d ever be caught, especially after all this many years. Sentenced to 15-months in the Danbury, Connecticut prison for women she was now prisoner #111187-424, just one of the millions of people incarcerated in the United States each year. On February 4, 2004, 10 years after she committed her crime, Piper’s boyfriend, Larry, drove her to the prison and kissed her goodbye for the final time. Together they walked inside, took a seat and waited. It wasn’t long until a guard with a nasty scar down the side of her face and neck barked out: “KERMAN!” and thus began Piper’s first day of incarceration where she’ll meet women from all walks of life, experience her first strip search, and learns how to navigate her strange new world. Heartbreaking, hilarious, and at times enraging, Kerman’s story offers a rare look into the lives of women in prison.
Date published: 2011-05-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Orange is honest, insightful We have all done it at some point in our lives. We cave in to our conscience and do something that may not be the best idea. Taking a risk can be exciting, after all. That is exactly what Piper Kerman thought when she graduated from Smith College in the states and found herself wanting to take a grip on life and feel alive. She had an exciting relationship and allowed herself to follow in their footsteps so she could see the world and evaluate what she wanted to do with her life. There were shenanigans. A few dirty deeds done. They weren't the best decisions, she admitted, so she walked away. She washed her hands clean and started to build a responsible life for herself. That's all it was. No harm done. You don't expect these things to catch up with you. But in Kerman's case, they did. In 1998, she was an early 30-something New Yorker working as a freelance producer when she got a knock on her door with news that her association to a drug trafficking ring had caught up with her and now she had to do the time. It's anyone's worst nightmare. Orange is the New Black is an honest and compelling account of the writer recounting her actions, taking accountability and serving time in minimum security prison in Danbury, Connecticut. When I picked up "Orange," I anticipated a book with a "get me out of here" theme, but instead found a very honest account of making a mistake, taking it with dignity and dealing with the fall out. Kerman reveals not just a situation in prison, but a culture, community and way of life. There are adjustments to one's thinking and new, expected realities to get by. It is all a fascinating account by the writer. Kerman describes the little community that she found in her correctional facility. There are anecdotes of support and friendship (her cell mates came to know her for a fantastic cheesecake), some odd insights (look up the phrase "gay for the stay"), and unsettling facts (there is a startling statistic of pregnancy in women's prisons. The fathers are often the guards). Kerman was released after a 13-month stay and her book ends as expected with her first taste of freedom. So entranced by Kerman's story, I set about looking her up and found her on Twitter (www.twitter.com/piper). She now works for a communications firm and dedicates time to prison reform. Her bio describes her as "in and out of hot water." Kerman is an example of a good person, taking responsibility, paying a debt to society and then taking that experience to do a little good in the world. Her book Orange is a further token for her crime to help us all learn about mistakes, the corrections system in the U.S., and humanity in the wake of crime.
Date published: 2010-08-05

– More About This Product –

Orange Is The New Black: My Year In A Women's Prison

by Piper Kerman

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 320 pages, 9.74 × 6.38 × 1.26 in

Published: April 6, 2010

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0385523386

ISBN - 13: 9780385523387

About the Book

A compelling, often hilarious, and unfailingly compassionate portrait of life inside a women's prison, "Orange Is the New Black" tells Kerman's dramatic story of her 15 months behind bars.

Read from the Book

Chapter One Are You Gonna Go My Way? International baggage claim in the Brussels airport was large and airy, with multiple carousels circling endlessly. I scurried from one to another, desperately trying to find my black suitcase. Because it was stuffed with drug money, I was more concerned than one might normally be about lost luggage. I was twenty-three in 1993 and probably looked like just another anxious young professional woman. My Doc Martens had been jettisoned in favor of beautiful handmade black suede heels. I wore black silk pants and a beige jacket, a typical jeune fille, not a bit counterculture, unless you spotted the tattoo on my neck. I had done exactly as I had been instructed, checking my bag in Chicago through Paris, where I had to switch planes to take a short flight to Brussels. When I arrived in Belgium, I looked for my black rollie at the baggage claim. It was nowhere to be seen. Fighting a rushing tide of panic, I asked in my mangled high school French what had become of my suitcase. “Bags don’t make it onto the right flight sometimes,” said the big lug working in baggage handling. “Wait for the next shuttle from Paris—it’s probably on that plane.” Had my bag been detected? I knew that carrying more than $10,000 undeclared was illegal, let alone carrying it for a West African drug lord. Were the authorities closing in on me? Maybe I should try to get through customs and run? Or perhaps the bag really was just de
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From the Publisher

NOW A NETFLIX ORIGINAL SERIES • #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
 
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.
 
Praise for Orange Is the New Black
 
“Fascinating . . . The true subject of this unforgettable book is female bonding and the ties that even bars can’t unbind.”—People (four stars)
 
“I loved this book. It’s a story rich with humor, pathos, and redemption. What I did not expect from this memoir was the affection, compassion, and even reverence that Piper Kerman demonstrates for all the women she encountered while she was locked away in jail. I will never forget it.”—Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love
 
“This book is impossible to put down because [Kerman] could be you. Or your best friend. Or your daughter.”—Los Angeles Times
 
“Moving . . . transcends the memoir genre’s usual self-centeredness to explore how human beings can always surprise you.”—USA Today
 
“It’s a compelling awakening, and a harrowing one—both for the reader and for Kerman.”—Newsweek.com

About the Author

Piper Kerman is vice president of a Washington, D.C.–based communications firm that works with foundations and nonprofits. A graduate of Smith College, she lives in Brooklyn.

Editorial Reviews

“Kerman’s book is a fascinating look down the rabbit hole that is prison… Unforgettable.” –People   “ Orange transcends the memoir genre''s usual self-centeredness to explore how human beings can always surprise you. You''d expect bad behavior in prison. But it''s the moments of joy, friendship and kindness that the author experienced that make Orange so moving and lovely…You sense [Kerman] wrote Orange to make readers think not about her but her fellow inmates. And, boy, does she succeed.” – USA Today   "In Orange Is the New Black: My Year in a Women''s Prison , Kerman puts us inside, from the first strip search...to the prison-issue unwashed underwear to the cucumbers and raw cauliflower that count as salad.... This book is impossible to put down because she could be you. Or your best friend. Or your daughter." – Los Angeles Times   "Kerman neither sentimentalizes nor lectures. She keeps the details of her despair to a minimum along with her discussion of the outrages of the penal system, concentrating instead on descriptions of her direct experiences, both harrowing and hilarious, and the personalities of the women who shared them with her." – Boston Globe “Vivid, revealing…” —Entertainment Weekly   “[An] insightful and often very funny book…” —Salon.com   “Ten years after a fleeting post-Smith College flirtation with drug tra
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