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Orange Is the New Black
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O > Orange is The New Black, by Piper Kerman

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Manda (BookWenchManda) | 1858 comments Orange Is the New Black
Orange Is the New Black by Piper Kerman

GR 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 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.


I read this for my 2017 Topic Discard Challenge, a "year in the life" memoir. I am an avid fan of the Netflix show, and thought I would give the source material a read. I did not think there was anyway I could anyone more than TV Piper. Well, real life Piper changed my mind. She is such an entitled and arrogant princess, it is difficult to have any sympathy or empathy for her. She actually makes you feel bad for her fictional TV character. And you definitely feel bad for the people who had to deal with her in prison.

1.5/5


message 2: by Sophie, Moon Mod (new) - rated it 4 stars

Sophie (Nemone) | 2874 comments Mod
I was sure a thread already existed, as I remember reading this book for this challenge, but it was in the old group ;)

I wasn't as hard as you over Piper, but it did had the "little white princess in a harsh world" feel.


Manda (BookWenchManda) | 1858 comments I could have sworn I've seen one also, so you're. It alone in that.

I started out enjoying her narrative, but as the book went on and she started talking about people of other races and cultures, she tried doing it in this "I can relate and understand their struggles" voice that just started rubbing me the wrong way. It was as though her short time in prison had erased her life as an upperclass white woman, who can all the sudden understand the plight of the poor or minorities. While she was pampered in prison with luxury items, constant gifts from family, and her own personal library, others just hoped a family member could afford to make it to visiting day. I'm know on some level Piper could relate to these other women, after all, they're all in prison, even if it is min-sec, but I think Piper probably had more in common with Martha Stewart than she did with anyone else in that prison.


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