Piper Kerman was sent to prison for a 10-year-old crime that finally caught up with her. She spent thirteen months in prison, eleven of them at the infamous federal correctional facility in Danbury, Connecticut, where she met a surprising and varied community of women living under exceptional circumstances. In Orange Is the New Black, Kerman tells the story of those long months locked up in a place with its own codes of behavior and arbitrary hierarchies, where a practical joke is as common as an unprovoked fight, and where the uneasy relationship between prisoner and jailer is constantly and unpredictably recalibrated.
One of the more interesting tidbits is that, while incarcerated, Kerman became a kind of impromptu librarian because of all the books she received from friends and family. She is also a tireless advocate for justice reform and has many links on her website to guide those that wish to join her.
Orange is the New Black is a fascinating look inside the little-seen world of women’s prisions and a natural selection for Book Groups–there is much to talk about here. For more info about the book, including links to recent articles and media, visit Piper’s website.