With her career, live-in boyfriend and loving family, Piper Kerman barely resembles the rebellious young woman who got mixed up with drug runners and delivered a suitcase of drug money to Europe over a decade ago. But when she least expects it, her reckless past catches up with her; convicted and sentenced to fifteen months at an infamous women's prison in Connecticut, Piper becomes inmate #11187-424. From her first strip search to her final release, she learns to navigate this strange world with its arbitrary rules and codes, its unpredictable, even dangerous relationships. She meets women from all walks of life, who surprise her with tokens of generosity, hard truths and simple acts of acceptance. Now an original comedy-drama series from Netflix, Piper's story is a fascinating, heartbreaking and often hilarious insight into life on the inside.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Now adapted into a hit TV series, Piper Kerman’s memoir is a well-written and eye-opening account of life in a women’s prison. Highly educated and hailing from a Boston family of doctors, lawyers and teachers, Kerman finds herself in the role of outsider as she starts an unlikely felony sentence for drug smuggling. What follows is a fascinating narrative arc that raises questions about how women organise themselves in this particular microcosm of society—and how we judge others based on our own experiences.
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.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Orange is the new black
I thoroughly enjoyed Piper's story of her journey through a correctional institution. I would recommend it.
Enjoyed this book thoroughly. A most interesting but gut wrenching story told without any affectedness.
An unnecessary book
I've never watched the show but have heard about it so I had high hopes for this book. Unfortunately I found the quick tempo in the book very unappealing. I like to savour the stories in books but found it difficult to do so with this one. I'm sure there are more complex and more interesting prison books out there, if not there should be. Reading about a well to do privileged white woman who spent a year in a low security prison made me yawn. The author is profiting from her criminal past, yes that's how the world works but I'd like my money back since I think her criminal past is not worth my money.I also think it is full of words plucked straight from the dictionary which makes it pretentious.