Orange is the New Black

Kerman, Piper

  4 Reviews

With her career, live-in boyfriend and loving family, Piper Kerman barely resembles the rebellious young woman, who, over a decade ago, got mixed up with drug runners and delivered a suitcase of drug money to Europe. But when she least expects it, her reckless past catches up with her: convicted and sentenced to 15 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. And she meets women from all walks of life, who surprise her with tokens of generosity, hard truths and simple acts of acceptance. [Taken from book cover.]

Comments from Groups

We had a wide ranging discussion about restorative justice in an American and New Zealand context. It was thought-provoking when considering whether this could ever have happened in our own families. Wanaka 013

We enjoyed the book. It was an interesting story that made us think. The writing style was quite observational, and not always coherent - sometimes a bit repetitive. Wellington 188

Half of the group thought it was boring and mundane, and the main character was self-centred - it was all about her. The rest enjoyed the book and thought it was an interesting and informative insight into prison life - albeit not high security. This led to quite interesting thoughts about ex-prisoners trying to get jobs in the community; lack of support from some prisoners' families; lack of support to rehabilitate into the community; women in prison and the children and babies of prisoners...Auckland 116

It was an easy read, but a little lightweight - skimmed over the serious issues. It did prompt much discussion (3 hours!) about the state of prisons in NZ, private vs government owned, home detention, drug use etc Cooks Beach 001

A fairly interesting view of a world we hope never to experience. She was very very lucky really, in her support, background and education. Auckland 174

Most enjoyed the book, but some felt it dragged a little in the middle. We thought it was well written. We would have liked to hear more about the work she did after her release. Richmond 005



NELS 050
The book was an easy read, one member likened it to reading a diary. The stories of the other women also in prison kept it interesting. Many discussions around privilege, bad decisions, naivety, and how her support system was amazing.
GISB 005
The group generally liked the book, although most felt it needed more editing.
TAUR 005
We enjoyed reading this account. Perhaps the style of writing is not so strong, but the story itself was interesting and informative. Piper was fortunate in her family and friends' support; her openness to learning from others was impressive.
ROTO 013
An interesting perspective into life in prison.