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Orange is the New Black: My Year in a Women's Prison | [Piper Kerman]

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

With a career, a boyfriend, and a loving family, Piper Kerman barely resembles the reckless young woman who delivered a suitcase of drug money 10 years ago. But that past has caught up with her. Convicted and sentenced to 15 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 women who disappear "down the rabbit hole" of the American penal system.
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Publisher's Summary

With a career, a boyfriend, and a loving family, Piper Kerman barely resembles the reckless young woman who delivered a suitcase of drug money 10 years ago. But that past has caught up with her. Convicted and sentenced to 15 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 women 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, where the uneasy relationship between prisoner and jailer is constantly and unpredictably recalibrated. 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, Orange is the New Black 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.

©2010 Piper Kerman (P)2012 Tantor

What the Critics Say

"Fascinating....The true subject of this unforgettable audiobook is female bonding and the ties that even bars can't unbind." (People)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (4745 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Darcie United States 06-22-15
    Darcie United States 06-22-15 Member Since 2011

    Performer/musician/writer in transition; inspired by traveling & people stories from all cultures. Listening is easier on the eyes.

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    32
    6
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    Story
    "Pleasant easy summer read"

    I've been hearing about "Orange is the new black" for a while now, and was curious. Interesting & enjoyable...A simple story with very good narration.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    isabel 06-18-15
    isabel 06-18-15 Member Since 2015
    ratings
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    2
    2
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    Story
    "Great Story No Wonder."

    It was turned into a show. So different though, but as addicting as the show.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Megan Garrett 06-14-15
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    1
    1
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    Story
    "Captivating"

    Obviously I chose to read this because I like the show. I was surprised at how many of Piper's personal stories are used on the show and done in a very skilled way. I also like however that it is a show - other stories are embellished, characters are added, plot lines are developed in a way that fit with the original memoir. But there is a bit more truth in Piper's actual book. A bit more desperation, a bit more realism, a better reflection of what it looks like inside a federal female prison.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jodi B 06-08-15
    Jodi B 06-08-15 Member Since 2015

    J-man's mommy

    ratings
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    21
    5
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    "Great book. Excellent."

    Everyone should read this book and other books like it. True stories of people who have been or are incarcerated. Get educated about the U.S. Incarceration system. Work towards fixing the problems. The incarceration rate in our country is completely out of control. And the number of innocent people in jail and even on death row is horrifying.

    This is a well written book. It's entertaining and interesting. A pleasant read. And now I can talk with the author on Twitter. That's great too.

    I highly recommend this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jena SAN FRANCISCO, CA, United States 06-07-15
    Jena SAN FRANCISCO, CA, United States 06-07-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Trite and without any meaning"

    This was the worst book I have listened to in a long time. There is so much white guilt and bragging about her background and feeling sorry for her cell mates that I could barely focus on the story. She comes from a very privileged background and makes that very clear to the point where none of the other characters are given any voice at all. Horrible. I can't believe this story got popular.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    ShannonBrimhall90 Oregon 06-05-15
    ShannonBrimhall90 Oregon 06-05-15
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    1
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    "Well written; poor story."

    I wanted to read this book because I love the Netflix series.
    Piper Kerman is a sad, pathetic, snobby brat. I kind of got that vibe from the show, but WOW! She is outrageous! Listen sweets, nobody is to blame for your poor behavior or for you having to serve time. Nora is not to blame. Jack is not to blame. Hester is not to blame. You KNEW what you were doing when you smuggled that drug money internationally. Personally, I feel that you should have served more time. You're pretentious attitude towards EVERYTHING is incredibly exhausting and had me wondering what the hell was wrong with you during the majority of this book. You think everyone is there for you, everything revolves around you, you are flawless and you can never do wrong because you're an UPPER-middle class white chick with blonde hair and you're sssssssso innocent! You're a joke. Your education doesn't make you better than anyone else. You're families status doesn't make you better than anyone else. Your conviction being served doesn't make you better than anyone else. You are a felon. You aided in trafficking drugs internationally. You are as bad as any other drug cartel workhorse. You should be ashamed of yourself. But most importantly, you need to ACTUALLY take responsibility for your ignorance and your actions. Need someone to blame for your having to serve time? Princess, look in the mirror!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Vetala Valo Portland, OR USA 06-01-15
    Vetala Valo Portland, OR USA 06-01-15 Member Since 2014
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    4
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    "Meh... Ok."

    This may be the only time I ever say this.... But the show is so much better than the book! Don't get me wrong, the book is good, but it's rather tame and boring when compared to the on-screen adaptation.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Retired Reader Gal 05-30-15 Member Since 2012

    Love a good story and will read just about anything except Sci-Fi, Supernatural/Zombie/Vampire novels. Not snobby--don't enjoy them.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Better off Watching than Reading!"

    What is rich and nuanced in the television show comes across in print as the poor, poor, pitiful me whining of a rich, priviledged white girl who got caught. I couldn't help thinking about what was happening to the other women--the one's without private lawyers and rich parents to fight to reduce their culpulbility and sentences. Don't do the crime if you can't do the time, Piper. Hope she is splitting her riches with the more interesting women in the book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    M. Sweeney 05-22-15
    M. Sweeney 05-22-15
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    "Gritty and real"

    An honest, poignant account of life in a state prison. For only a year. But still, the author does a nice job of describing and empathizing with what the typical prison demographic is up against. She is grateful for her own advantages and duly outraged by the disadvantages her compadres faced. A good sociological study and I'm glad the TV consumer has been dosed with its message; though admittedly I've never seen an episode of it myself. Highly recommended read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    mary 05-15-15
    mary 05-15-15 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Don't waste your time"

    Boring and dumb
    Didn't care about this woman. She is annoying and nothing happens. She did -yoga. Big deal. Yuck.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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