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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.
Praise for Orange Is the New Black
“Fascinating . . . The true subject of this unforgettable book is female bonding and the ties that even bars can’t unbind.”People (four stars)
“I loved this book. It’s a story rich with humor, pathos, and redemption. What I did not expect from this memoir was the affection, compassion, and even reverence that Piper Kerman demonstrates for all the women she encountered while she was locked away in jail. I will never forget it.”—Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love
“This book is impossible to put down because [Kerman] could be you. Or your best friend. Or your daughter.”Los Angeles Times
“Moving . . . transcends the memoir genre’s usual self-centeredness to explore how human beings can always surprise you.”USA Today
“It’s a compelling awakening, and a harrowing one—both for the reader and for Kerman.”—Newsweek.com
Look for special features inside. Join the Random House Reader’s Circle for author chats and more.

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Orange Is the New Black
Average rating
3.8 / 5
Orange Is the New Political Statement
December 30th, 2014
I will start by saying that I really did like this book and I love the show that it has spawned. On the surface, OITNB is the wonderfully told story of one woman's graceful navigation of prison and it's complex workings. Piper's story and the stories of her fellow inmates are a tremendous reminder that everybody makes mistakes but that doesn't necessarily mean that we are all bad people. Deeper down though, the book tends to become a bit preachy about how terrible it is to have your human rights taken away from you while you are in prison, how the rampant racism and how the blatant dickheadedness of the guards is really unfair to people that have broken the law. There are a few statistics thrown into the mix and the result is something that is equal parts whiney criminal, politics and heartbreaking tales of women separated from their families. All in all this book begs its reader to answer this question: Have any of these women truly learned anything from their mistakes?
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1 review
1 person found this helpful
An entertaining memoir.
November 14th, 2014
While markedly different than the Netflix series that this memoir inspired, Orange is the New Black is an entertaining read that delves into the gritty reality of prison life, and the prison system. If you're a fan of the TV series, this book provides an interesting look at the real life prisoners that inspired the characters of the show, and a little extra detail on some of the scenes you've seen on the show. Overall, Kerman's writing is engaging, accessible, insightful, and just plain interesting.
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1 review
Fantastic Rich girl goes to prison drama
November 11th, 2014
I devoured this book last year with the buzz of the Netflix series. You will notice glaring discrepancies amongst both. This book is hilarious, showing the different female characters that are in a low security, all female prison. Hierarchies, friendship, love, strength are all present in this memoir written by Piper Kerman.
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1 review
Divorce your mind from tv...
July 28th, 2014
Not the TV series in any way other than the title, yet entertaining and thought provoking. A quick and good read.
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1 review
Interesting read
June 1st, 2014
Fascinating subject matter and poignant characterization but the tone and organization still feel unfinished.
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1 review
Orange is the new black
May 23rd, 2014
Was alright. Got a bit better at the end.
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1 review
May 21st, 2014
Good read...get an insider's perspective. If you think the television series is too crude, the book is not at all.
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1 review
Orange is the new black
March 23rd, 2014
Great book! Loved it from start to finish
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1 review
Started good
February 22nd, 2014
The book started good then turned pretty boring and became more about the system and less about time spent in side . I recommend just watching the show its way better.
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1 review
Amazing once you've watched the show
October 8th, 2013
Very interesting look into a woman's prison albeit from a bit of a different than average perspective. Amazing to see the similarities between the book and TV show!
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1 review
1 person found this helpful
Inside view
July 20th, 2013
Just finished the first season of "Orange is the New Black" on Netflix, so I followed up with the book that provided the inspiration. What a crazy system. Piper manages to capture a glimpse into a world that most people will never experience.
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1 review

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