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Orange Is the New Black: My Year in a Women's Prison

Orange Is the New Black: My Year in a Women's Prison Cover

ISBN13: 9780385523387
ISBN10: 0385523386
All Product Details

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

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

Review:

"Relying on the kindness of strangers during her year's stint at the minimum security correctional facility in Danbury, Conn., Kerman, now a nonprofit communications executive, found that federal prison wasn't all that bad. In fact, she made good friends doing her time among the other women, many street-hardened drug users with little education and facing much longer sentences than Kerman's original 15 months. Convicted of drug smuggling and money laundering in 2003 for a scheme she got tangled up in 10 years earlier when she had just graduated from Smith College, Kerman, at 34, was a 'self-surrender' at the prison: quickly she had to learn the endless rules, like frequent humiliating strip searches and head counts; navigate relationships with the other 'campers' and unnerving guards; and concoct ways to fill the endless days by working as an electrician and running on the track. She was not a typical prisoner, as she was white, blue-eyed, and blonde (nicknamed 'the All-American Girl'), well educated, and the lucky recipient of literature daily from her fianc, Larry, and family and friends. Kerman's account radiates warmly from her skillful depiction of the personalities she befriended in prison, such as the Russian gangster's wife who ruled the kitchen; Pop, the Spanish mami; lovelorn lesbians like Crazy Eyes; and the aged pacifist, Sister Platte. Kerman's ordeal indeed proved life altering." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Synopsis:

NOW A NETFLIX ORIGINAL SERIES

A compelling, often hilarious, and unfailingly compassionate portrait of life inside a women’s prison

 

When Piper Kerman was sent to prison for a ten-year-old crime, she barely resembled the reckless young woman she’d been when, shortly after graduating Smith College, she’d committed the misdeeds that would eventually catch up with her. Happily ensconced in a New York City apartment, with a promising career and an attentive boyfriend, she was suddenly forced to reckon with the consequences of her very brief, very careless dalliance in the world of drug trafficking.

Kerman spent thirteen months in prison, eleven of them at the infamous federal correctional facility in Danbury, Connecticut, where she met a surprising and varied community of women living under exceptional circumstances. In Orange Is the New Black, Kerman tells the story of those long months locked up in a place with its own codes of behavior and arbitrary hierarchies, where a practical joke is as common as an unprovoked fight, and where the uneasy relationship between prisoner and jailer is constantly and unpredictably recalibrated.

Revealing, moving, and enraging, Orange Is the New Black offers a unique perspective on the criminal justice system, the reasons we send so many people to prison, and what happens to them when they’re there.

About the Author

Piper Kerman is a communications consultant working with foundations and nonprofits. She lives in Brooklyn.

What Our Readers Are Saying

Add a comment for a chance to win!
Average customer rating based on 3 comments:

Melody Murray, February 27, 2011 (view all comments by Melody Murray)
This memoir of Kerman's year in prison was very interesting. I enjoyed seeing the inside of the system from her perspective. I think the fact that she, along with so many of the people we meet in her book, was imprisoned at all is ludicrous. Kerman was luckier than most, she had access to good lawyers and had a tremendous support system outside - both of which she admits upfront.

The last few chapters were the most poignant, I think, as Kerman is forced to confront some of her demons in the flesh.

Well-written and absorbing.
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(2 of 4 readers found this comment helpful)
Kavita, January 3, 2011 (view all comments by Kavita)
Piper Kerman had a charmed life. She was the happy product of a functional family, brilliant, privileged, lucky, and much-loved. She looked like a Barbi Doll, she graduated from Smith College, she had a few wild adventures, and then suddenly she was behind bars. Instead of the Why Me whine you might expect from a woman ill-prepared to meet adversity, Kerman writes a love song to the women in orange who taught her what class is, how it works, who has voice and who doesn't, and what it means to wake up. There are several heroines in this book, and Kerman isn't one of them, but she tells an unforgettable story of the courage of ordinary poor women trapped between hard circumstances and harder choices. If you've never been to prison, read this book. If you've been there, you might find yourself in it.
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M F Hadley, May 10, 2010 (view all comments by M F Hadley)
When the author, Piper Kerman, was a recent college graduate, she got involved with an acquaintance for whom she smuggled drug money from the United States into Belgium. It was not until ten years later that her crimes caught up with her and she was arrested, charged and pleaded guilty to money laundering and drug smuggling. Her sentence sent her to Danbury Federal Correctional Institution for Women where she spent 11 months of her 13 month sentence. This book chronicles her experience as an inmate at Danbury and recounts the stories of many of her fellow inmates and her journey through the American criminal justice system. It is an interesting look inside a federal prison from the perspective of someone who didn’t look or sound like most of the other inmates at Danbury. (Ms. Kerman began her time at Danbury while Martha Stewart’s trial was going on.)
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(12 of 24 readers found this comment helpful)
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780385523387
Subtitle:
My Year in a Women's Prison
Publisher:
Spiegel & Grau
Author:
Kerman, Piper
Subject:
Personal Memoirs
Subject:
Penology
Subject:
Federal Correctional Institution (Danbury, Co
Subject:
Kerman, Piper
Subject:
Women
Subject:
Biography - General
Publication Date:
20100406
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
320
Dimensions:
9.52x6.60x1.10 in. 1.16 lbs.

Related Subjects

» BLOCKED
» Biography » General
» Biography » Women
» History and Social Science » Crime » Prisons and Prisoners
» History and Social Science » Gender Studies » Womens Studies
» History and Social Science » Sociology » Crime

Orange Is the New Black: My Year in a Women's Prison
0 stars - 0 reviews
$ In Stock
Product details 320 pages Spiegel & Grau - English 9780385523387 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Relying on the kindness of strangers during her year's stint at the minimum security correctional facility in Danbury, Conn., Kerman, now a nonprofit communications executive, found that federal prison wasn't all that bad. In fact, she made good friends doing her time among the other women, many street-hardened drug users with little education and facing much longer sentences than Kerman's original 15 months. Convicted of drug smuggling and money laundering in 2003 for a scheme she got tangled up in 10 years earlier when she had just graduated from Smith College, Kerman, at 34, was a 'self-surrender' at the prison: quickly she had to learn the endless rules, like frequent humiliating strip searches and head counts; navigate relationships with the other 'campers' and unnerving guards; and concoct ways to fill the endless days by working as an electrician and running on the track. She was not a typical prisoner, as she was white, blue-eyed, and blonde (nicknamed 'the All-American Girl'), well educated, and the lucky recipient of literature daily from her fianc, Larry, and family and friends. Kerman's account radiates warmly from her skillful depiction of the personalities she befriended in prison, such as the Russian gangster's wife who ruled the kitchen; Pop, the Spanish mami; lovelorn lesbians like Crazy Eyes; and the aged pacifist, Sister Platte. Kerman's ordeal indeed proved life altering." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Synopsis" by , NOW A NETFLIX ORIGINAL SERIES

A compelling, often hilarious, and unfailingly compassionate portrait of life inside a women’s prison

 

When Piper Kerman was sent to prison for a ten-year-old crime, she barely resembled the reckless young woman she’d been when, shortly after graduating Smith College, she’d committed the misdeeds that would eventually catch up with her. Happily ensconced in a New York City apartment, with a promising career and an attentive boyfriend, she was suddenly forced to reckon with the consequences of her very brief, very careless dalliance in the world of drug trafficking.

Kerman spent thirteen months in prison, eleven of them at the infamous federal correctional facility in Danbury, Connecticut, where she met a surprising and varied community of women living under exceptional circumstances. In Orange Is the New Black, Kerman tells the story of those long months locked up in a place with its own codes of behavior and arbitrary hierarchies, where a practical joke is as common as an unprovoked fight, and where the uneasy relationship between prisoner and jailer is constantly and unpredictably recalibrated.

Revealing, moving, and enraging, Orange Is the New Black offers a unique perspective on the criminal justice system, the reasons we send so many people to prison, and what happens to them when they’re there.

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