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


Title: Orange is the new Black
Author: Piper Kerman
Published: April 6, 2010
Publisher: Spiegal and Grau
Pages: 322
Genre: True Crime
Review: library ebook
Buy Links: Amazon, 

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.

So I just like many other people have really gotten into the show Orange is the New Black. So when I learned there was a book about Piper's experiences in jail I wanted to read it. I figured it would get down to the dirt of how she really survived prison. 
I honestly was a bit disappointed. I mean Piper made a mistake years ago and 10 years later is paying the price. Prison honestly did not seem to be that bad when she was there, she mostly kept to herself and didn't ask a lot of questions. Though she was taken under the wings of others she didn't get into fights or have anything taken from her. She mostly seem to bring happiness to everyone in some way. 
Now if you expect this book to be like the show you will be disappointed, Piper does not act like the Piper in the show, she doesn't really get to meet up with the girl who put her down the drug dealing path those years ago until they are being transferred. Even then they don't "get back together." Heck even Piper's boyfriend seemed to be really sweet unlike in the show. 
It was interesting overall to see the prison point of view from someone who was in there for an offense that wasn't all that horrible. 

Piper Kerman
Piper Kerman is the author of the memoir Orange is the New Black: My Year in a Women’s Prison, a #1 New York Times Bestseller. The book has been adapted into an Emmy Award-winning original series for Netflix.

Piper is a graduate of Smith College. Her writing has appeared in the New York Times, the Guardian, Cosmopolitan and other publications. She serves on the board of directors of the Women's Prison Association and the advisory boards of JustLeadershipUSA, Healing Broken Circles and InsideOUT Writers. She teaches creative nonfiction writing to incarcerated men and women.

Piper speaks frequently around the country about justice reform. You can find information on these events and more at


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