Orange Is the New Black: My Year in a Women's Prison (titled Orange Is the The book was adapted into the Netflix original comedy-drama series Orange Is the. Orange Is the New Black book. Read reviews from the world's largest community for readers. With a career, a boyfriend, and a loving family, Piper. Orange Is the New Black: My Year in a Women's Prison [Piper Kerman] on *FREE* Author interviews, book reviews, editors' picks, and more .

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She may be known as Piper Chapman on Netflix's Orange is the New Black, but her real name is Piper Kerman, and her memoir, Orange. The popular Netflix Original Series Orange Is The New Black, based on the memoir by Piper Kerman, returns this June for a highly anticipated. Orange Is The New Black: My Year in a Women's Prison (titled Orange is the New Black: My Time in a Women's Prison in some editions) is a.

I learned a lot about life on the inside. I was very touched so many times. The American prison system is so absurd. This author did not belong in prison.

The situation is almost laughable. Give people such as her many hours of community service. Well, she got a book out of it. But for the many other women who also pose no real threat to society who are written about in this book, there are other, better options. Humans are humans everywhere so it did not surprise me to see all the personality types, lifestyles, ways of coping, etc. Absurd rules and situations abounded.

Also, the amount it costs to keep each prisoner incarcerated is ridiculous. They might not be as satisfying and are certainly more restricted than most, but people adapt beautifully, for the most part. Some thoughts as I read: We must do away with these silly mandatory federal minimum sentences.

What a waste, for everybody. There is a shockingly poor standard of living but not as bad as for some not in prison, and the women definitely tweaked the system. No psychiatric care and awful medical care, and the vast majority of the women get released so unprepared to succeed. Lousy food. At one point when I was an omnivore I might have survived. They did have inedible tvp for the vegetarians and a sort of salad bar. The account has funny parts galore, due to the ludicrousness of the situations of those connected to "the camp" in Danbury.

The last chapter, titled It Can Always Get Worse, and other parts, especially parts at the end and beginning, really touched me. Very readable and interesting and hard to put down.

Our system needs a big overhaul in my opinion. View all 42 comments. I have never watched Orange is the New Black, but a few GR reviews had me curious about the book that formed the basis for the show.

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

I listened to the audio. It would be easy to be fairly negative about this book: But, still, I thoroughly enjoyed listening to Piper's story: Anyways, I'm glad I listened to it.

I gather the show is completely different, but I may have to give it a try A note on the audio: View all 28 comments. May 09, Terry rated it did not like it Shelves: This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This book really bugged me. It was recommended to me by a someone whose opinion I respect, so I was sort of surprised she was such an advocate for this book.

It was a ve This book really bugged me. And I had the same reaction to Kerman's book. Speaking of distancing--that's another thing that bothered me about this book--it's all surface. She does a lot of telling, but not a lot of showing, and it has a distancing effect.

She says she feels something, but she rarely seems to describe her actions or behavior in a way that would show or even stem from that feeling, and thus it was hard to tell whether she actually felt that way or not.

She says she feels badly for putting her family through pain, but I never see her talking or writing to any of her family members in any way that indicates regret or sorrow. She doesn't seem to act any differently to any of them when she was a year-old or when she was in her mids. She almost never mentions the accomplice or how she feels about the accomplice she blames for introducing her to a life of crime, but then at the end of the book, she suddenly expresses near-homicidal rage at this accomplice, and the effect is jarring.

If Kerman was soooo angry at this accomplice, why not mention that throughout the book, rather than suddenly at the end say "I wanted to kill her"? That kind of anger seems like it might take up a lot more mental and emotional energy than Kerman shows it doing throughout the book. Again, Kerman's attitude toward this accomplice also angered me. It's not like Kerman was forced against her will to participate in several years of criminal activity. She was a very willing participant. And she benefited financially from the experience quite nicely.

But she places ALL the blame on the accomplice and never once actually admits "You know what? I did this. No one MADE me. I chose to. She never adequately shows the women as the inspiring, dignified, role models Kerman took them as. She just says "Wow, this person was really amazing to me" but does not quote the woman saying or show the woman doing anything that is really Finally, I guess the main failing of the book AS a book, to me, is that there seems to be no change in Kerman at all.

She seems to think pretty highly of herself throughout the entire book. She never seems to feel--or, to put it more kindly, perhaps, never manages to convey--true regret or sorrow, not for what she did to her fiance or family, and most importantly, not for what she did to herself.

She starts off the book as a spoiled, shallow young girl and ends the book a spoiled, shallow woman. And maybe only fiction is supposed to have some sort of arc of change in the main character, but why am I reading a book about someone who doesn't really change at all, over the course of 20 years, really? What's the point? View all 8 comments. Aug 13, Matt rated it really liked it Shelves: Never judge a book by its television adaptation!

Telling the short story of how Kerman got into the predicament, some of the interesting characters she met inside, and her journey through the maze that saw her lea Never judge a book by its television adaptation! Telling the short story of how Kerman got into the predicament, some of the interesting characters she met inside, and her journey through the maze that saw her leave after a thirteen month period as an inmate.

Still, it gives a great, somewhat sequential journey through the prison system, where the reader will meet numerous characters sure to lighten the mood. Kerman hits the nail on the head with her straightforward approach and keeps it real for those of us whose idea of prison is a weekend locked away with the in-laws. Kerman does a stellar job illustrating the prison system, as well as some of its real flaws.

While there is no doubt that the book is slightly watered down and the severity of the prison itself must be taken into account , it addresses some of the social, socio-economic, and educational pitfalls that face any inmate.

While most people would probably want prisoners to live off bread and water, one must also look at things from the rehabilitation angle. What will Prisoner X do upon release with no employment possibilities, no skills, and nothing but disdain for the System? Recidivism is surely higher for those who fall between the cracks and Kerman does address this.

Her stay paralleled the Martha Stewart time in prison discussion at length about how they wanted her in another prison when she chose that one and the country club versus hole in the wall cell came up a great deal. For us outsiders, it is surely a debate worth having and Kerman paves the way. Wonderful work Madam Kerman on this prison diary of sorts.

You rank right up there with the honest and detailed description that Jeffery Archer offered readers. Will there be another volume, with some other untold tidbits? Did the makers of the show hone in on this book as a raw idea, then flesh it out to make the show? It begins early on, when Piper lets us know that she wasted all those years in an elite university majoring in theater without any actual life goals in mind.

And she doesn't seem embarrassed about this at all. She goes through prison acting like a whiny, spoiled, entitled, rich brat. And then Wow. And then she writes a book, which has no soul. All those years in an elite university that she never tires of mentioning and she can't write.

This book is so very devoid of personality that it feels like it was written by someone totally unattached to the situation rather than by the person who lived it. Watch the show. Get the library book if you must. Don't pay money for this. View all 5 comments. Jul 15, Diane rated it really liked it Shelves: There are so many things I liked about this book!

In , Piper Kerman spent a year in a women's prison for a decade-old drug offense. Her memoir is thoughtful, enlightening and, at times, humorous. I'm not surprised it was adapted into a successful TV series on Netflix -- it's a perfect fish-out-of-water story. Piper -- who is a white, upper-middle class college graduate from Boston -- is upfront about how stupid she was in her early 20s.

In , Piper was hanging out with a woman, Nora, who b There are so many things I liked about this book! In , Piper was hanging out with a woman, Nora, who bragged that she was working for a West African drug dealer.

Nora's job was to fly to various countries to help smuggle drugs and money, and she invited Piper to Indonesia to "keep her company.

We lived a life of relentless tension, yet it was also often crushingly boring. I had little to do, other than keep Nora company while she dealt with her 'mules. I felt disconnected from the world even as I was seeing it, a person without a person or place. This was not the adventure I craved. I was lying to my family about every aspect of my life and growing sick and tired of my adopted drug 'family.

Piper says she didn't tell anyone about her crime experience; she was ashamed of it and thought it was all behind her. Five years later, she and Larry had moved to New York and were settling in to new jobs when two police officers showed up at her apartment and informed her that she had been charged with drug smuggling and money laundering. Thus began her "long, torturous expedition through the labyrinth of the U.

Finally, Piper was sentenced to 15 months in prison, and in February she self-surrendered at the women's prison in Danbury, Connecticut. Not foolhardy, not in love with risk and danger, not making ridiculous exhibitions of myself to prove that I wasn't terrified -- really, genuinely brave.

Brave enough to be quiet when quiet was called for, brave enough to observe before flinging myself into something, brave enough to not abandon my true self when someone else wanted to seduce or force me in a direction I didn't want to go, brave enough to stand my ground quietly. This is the most fascinating part of the book because not much is written about women in prison -- most stories are told from the man's point of view.

Before surrendering, Piper had read some books about how to survive prison, but even those were all written for men. One of the first things Piper noticed is how the inmates were grouped into "tribes," based mostly on race.

If you fell into that 'other' category -- Native American, Asian, Middle Eastern -- then you got a patchwork welcome committee of the kindest and most compassionate women from the dominant tribes. Piper made some friends and mostly steered clear of troublemakers. The memoir is critical of America's prisons, pointing out the serious flaws in our criminal justice system.

Piper's attorney had warned her that the hardest thing about prison would be following all of the "chickenshit rules enforced by chickenshit people. Piper described inappropriate behavior by male guards toward female prisoners, but said that if an inmate complains, she gets sent to solitary confinement until the issue gets sorted out, which could takes days or even weeks.

Meanwhile, the inmate is essentially being punished for being a whistleblower, so Piper said inmates were reluctant to complain, and some guards would take advantage of that. The formal relationship, enforced by the institution, is that one person's word means everything and the other's means almost nothing; one person can command the other to do just about anything, and refusal can result in total physical restraint.

That fact is like a slap in the face. Even in relation to the people who are anointed with power in the outside world -- cops, elected officials, soldiers -- we have rights within our interactions. We have a right to speak to power, though we may not exercise it.

With just a few months to go until the new season returns, refresh yourself on the background story

But when you step behind the walls of a prison as an inmate, you lose that right. It evaporates, and it's terrifying. Housing an inmate is expensive, and Piper noted that many people would have been better off and more productive doing community service, such as working with drug addicts, than wasting time in prison: I was lucky to get there on my own, with the help of the women I met. Instead, our system of 'corrections' is about arm's-length revenge and retribution, all day and all night.

Then its overseers wonder why people leave prison more broken than when they went in. She would run several miles each day and do stretches when she was stressed out.

Just when she had a good groove going and her release was only a few months away, she got the bad news that she had to go to Chicago to testify in a trial against another drug dealer. Piper was angry because she didn't even know the guy on trial, and the prison conditions in Chicago were horrible.

For the first time during her incarceration, she called Larry and begged him to get her out of there. Suddenly, Danbury didn't seem so bad. Luckily she survived her stay in Chicago and was finally released. The bio on the bookjacket says Piper is now a vice-president for a communications firm that works with nonprofit organizations.

Good for her. If you couldn't tell from all the quotes I included, I loved this book. I would highly recommend it to anyone interested in the criminal justice system, or anyone who loves a good memoir.

View all 4 comments. Dec 04, Helen Power rated it liked it Shelves: Synopsis Ten years ago, Piper Kerman made a mistake. She fell in love and became a criminal--transporting a suitcase of drug money across borders. Now she has to pay the price: This book is her memoirs from this time.

My Thoughts I came into this book expecting it to be like the TV show. While Synopsis Ten years ago, Piper Kerman made a mistake.

The odds are that Kerman is fudging the truth a little. This became apparent a few times. She talks a lot about overcoming adversity in the prison, and her relationships with the other women. I think this is ultimately the message that Kerman is trying to get across, and it becomes more obvious as the book progresses.

A woman raises her hand and asks how to find a place to rent.

The lecturer coughs and says something about using the internet before continuing to talk about roofing. The fact that this book got published itself is quite telling. Would a book about a hispanic or black woman going to prison have been published in ? Would it have become a bestseller? Probably not. This review appeared first on https: View 2 comments.

Mar 23, Lynn rated it did not like it. First, let me fully admit, that it is my own fault that I thought this was going to be a good book. I failed to pay attention to the title, which essentially screams Sex in the City meets Prison. Instead, I read the subtitle, My Year in a Women's Prison, and imagined that it was an entirely different book - one of substance. I also failed to notice that the cover endorsement quote is from the author of Eat, Pray, Love.

Lastly, I work with prisoners, so I am particularly sensitive to inaccurate p First, let me fully admit, that it is my own fault that I thought this was going to be a good book. Lastly, I work with prisoners, so I am particularly sensitive to inaccurate portrayals of how great they have it and how easy their lives are while hardworking taxpayers are paying for their easy living.

What I thought this book was going to be was a memoir by a typical prisoner that would explore the challenges of the criminal justice system through a compelling personal story, not one whose fiance had a website coordinating which friends sent her which books and whose commissary account was always topped off.

This book reeked of white, middle class privilege, which the author acknowledges fleetingly. There are glimmers where the author mentions issues like the challenges of reentry or the arbitrariness of rule enforcement in prison, but she utterly fails to take those opportunities to delve deeper, resulting in a candy coated beach read. The author has every right to write about her experience, but it is personally painful to know that this book is out there and that readers will come away thinking that federal prison is a bunch of women decorating the common room for Christmas and finding a way to have lovely Thanksgiving meals together.

Who ever thought a book about prison could ever be characterized as a beach read!? I recommend Life on the Outside: The Prison Odyssey of Elaine Bartlett if you are interested in a memoir that addresses real criminal justice reform issues.

Jun 28, Julie rated it really liked it. This is the book upon which the series is based. I admit I have have not seen one single episode of television series. I have seen some ads for the show, and based on that I figured it probably wasn't my cup of tea. It looked too silly for my taste. I as actually taken aback a little bit by it's stark honesty and while it does have some pretty funny moments in it, I was most impressed at Piper's growth as a human being and her courage, taking something from a bad situation and learning life lessons from it.

An eye opener, a cautionary tale, interesting and fascinating, this book is not what I was expecting and I am glad I decided to check it out. Recommended to those who enjoy true crime, memoirs and TV tie in books. View all 6 comments. Jul 24, Matt rated it it was ok. As we always hear, conflict is the essence of interesting drama. I think that's the biggest problem I had with this story-- the author and publisher assume that the mere fact that a well educated white girl from a wealthy family will be going to prison is enough drama to float the entire book.

They're wrong, but not by much. Once the arrest and trial phase start, we see that she's gotten a small sentence because of her private lawyer. We see that her fiance, friends, and family all support her to the Nth degree during the entire sentence. We see that she pretty much has enough money during her incarceration to get whatever she wants, that she pretty much gets along with everyone, and never really has any major issues or conflicts during the entire year.

Of course, this is pretty much the opposite experience that a vast majority of inmates have in America's prison system.

Maybe it would have been more interesting if she'd spent more time really digging and documenting this sort of thing-- even though she occasionally throws in a random prison statistics factoid, and even though she mentions some pretty horrible treatment, it just doesn't seem to really amount to all that much between her Yoga sessions and jogging anecdotes. Without any drama, the book turns into something of a "I did this, and then I did this" sort of story, which had me checking my figurative watch about halfway through.

All in all, it deserves the two star "it was OK" rating-- worth reading, but definitely not something that rocked my world. For crying out loud, are we children? People swear in the real world, and I'm guessing they swear in prison.

Get a grip. Jun 02, Kelli rated it liked it Shelves: So, that was interesting. Not exactly the adjective I would expect to apply to a prison memoir. I rather enjoyed my time listening to this audio, which made Danbury sound like a bit of a sorority.

Very unexpected. The author told her version of her story, which ironically often felt light and breezy, giving me the sense that a lot was left out. While telling her story though, she brought up many issues and flaws in our justice system, focusing on the lack of restorative justice, sentencing inequa So, that was interesting. While telling her story though, she brought up many issues and flaws in our justice system, focusing on the lack of restorative justice, sentencing inequality, and poor programming designed to assist prisoners with reentering the world.

She did well with humanizing the prisoners and emphasizing the power of human connection.

6 Major Differences Between "Orange Is The New Black" The Book And TV Show

The book, however, ended abruptly and without any epilogue or follow up information regarding those with whom she connected. This added much to the story. View all 3 comments. Apr 29, S. Aruna rated it liked it Shelves: There's no doubt that this book is intelligently written, skillfully narrated, and finely detailed, yet I was still disappointed.

It was not what I expected. Did I expect assault and other abuse against inmates, involuntary drugging, the tortures of solitary confinement and other horrors? Frankly, yes. Am I a sadistic, voyeuristic fan of sensationalism? Why I Refused to Testify Against the Clintons and What I Learn There's no doubt that this book is intelligently written, skillfully narrated, and finely detailed, yet I was still disappointed. Why I Refused to Testify Against the Clintons and What I Learned in Jail and a series of articles written by journalist Betty Brink about the Federal Medical Center in Fort Worth actually a federal penitentiary located adjacent to a military base , I got a totally different picture of prison existence.

In this account, we get treated to tales of birthday parties, anecdotes about fellow inmates, yoga lessons, and petty complaints. Where the author was imprisoned there were no cells, rather a dormitory sectioned off by cubicles.

It was like a child's memoir of summer camp. In fact, the facility Ms. Kerman was confined in was designated as a Camp. No really, think about it. Children in summer camp are basically incarcerated, their freedom of movement is restricted, they have no choice but to eat the food prepared en masse, etc.

They are basically exposed to the effects of institutionalization for a few weeks. But what makes it worthwhile are the friendships made and the bonding through activities. Kerman experienced, albeit for an excessive amount of time. She explores name stereotypes about class and culture, and enlightens readers on the origins of stripper names, hipster names, Starbucks names, and more.

Siddhartha by Herman Hesse In this classic novel, a man from a wealthy Brahmin family leaves home to embark on a spiritual journey in the hopes of gaining enlightenment. He is joined by his best friend and together they renounce their earthly possessions, fast, meditate, and seek out Gautama Buddha. She has a loving husband and adorable son, but Becky also has a secret. And now, the feds are hot on her heels. In this installment, Mikael has decided to run a story in his magazine exposing a sex trafficking ring.

Eat That Frog! The New York Times. May 1, Online p. Retrieved on July 9, Columbia Journalism Review. Retrieved July 9, April 8, Retrieved on April 10, July 22, Tricia Ketchum. May 3, Retrieved January 14, She spent 13 months in a Danbury, Connecticut, minimum-security prison beginning in , an experience that formed the basis for Orange Is the New Black.

Are you okay? My Time in a Women's Prison in some editions is a memoir by Piper Kerman , which tells the story of her money laundering and drug trafficking conviction and subsequent year spent in a federal women's prison. Lots of situational homosexuality gets channelled into crushes rather than rutting.

Catherine Cleary Wolters can speak to many of the actual events behind the hit Netflix series Orange Is the New Black with a hard-won authority, but there is one detail that seems particularly crucial.

Well done.

MARGORIE from Denton
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