Book Discussion - Orange is the New Black by Piper Kerman

  • April 24, 2014 · 7:00 PM

Join us in April as we read Orange is the New Black: My Year in a Women's Prison. It's shorter than our last few books (and is available in paperback!),  and has lots of great discussion points!

Below are descriptions of the book from Amazon and Booklist:

From Amazon:

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.

From Booklist:

Just graduated from Smith College, Kerman made the mistake of getting involved with the wrong woman and agreeing to deliver a large cash payment for an international drug ring. Years later, the consequences catch up with her in the form of an indictment on conspiracy drug-smuggling and money-laundering charges. Kerman pleads guilty and is sentenced to 15 months in a federal prison in Danbury, Connecticut. Entering prison in 2004—more than 10 years after her crime—Kerman finds herself submerged in the unique and sometimes overwhelming culture of prison, where kindness can come in the form of sharing toiletries, and an insult in the cafeteria can lead to an enduring enmity. Kerman quickly learns the rules—asking about the length of one’s prison stay is expected, but never ask about the crime that led to it—and carves a niche for herself even as she witnesses the way the prison system fails those who are condemned to it, many of them nonviolent drug offenders. An absorbing, meditative look at life behind bars.



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  • Heather M

    Missed you guys! Did you pick a book for May? :)

    1 · April 25, 2014

  • Peter M.

    I didn't like this book all that much, but I enjoyed the discussion immensely. Thanks! (BTW: I read the first few pages of An Invisible Thread because Amazon let me preview it and it reads beautifully! And, hardbound, only $5.00 plus shipping!)

    1 · April 25, 2014

  • Heather M

    And thanks for leading Christine!

    April 25, 2014

  • Paysha

    Great talk tonight and thanks, Christine, for leading in Heather's absence! (We missed you, Heather!) I liked this book, lots of issues to tackle here...

    1 · April 25, 2014

  • Christine

    I thoroughly enjoyed my first meeting. Great group. I hope to attend many more.

    2 · April 24, 2014

  • Pat

    Great discussion as always!

    April 24, 2014

  • Peter M.

    Your token old guy will see you tonight. Stay warm!

    3 · April 24, 2014

  • Andrea E.

    Sorry ladies. I am burnt. I will shoot for next month.

    April 24, 2014

  • Heather M

    I'm down in Delaware visiting my parents and am driving back tomorrow. Not sure if I'll be back in time for book club ( if I am I may try to show up, depending on how wiped out I am!) if I don't make it, have some carrot cake for me and pick a good book for May!

    1 · April 23, 2014

    • Paysha

      Oh, I hope you can make it. Want to see you! Drive safe.

      April 23, 2014

    • Rebecca

      I hope you make it too! Safe travels!

      April 24, 2014

  • Heather M

    Also, I was thinking in May we should meet on Thurs the 22nd, since the Thurs after that is close to Memorial Day weekend and a lot of folks might be away. What do you think?

    2 · April 23, 2014

    • Pat

      Sounds good to me.

      April 23, 2014

    • Rebecca

      I'm fine with that - but let's make sure we pick a "slim" book as we have less time to read it!

      April 24, 2014

  • Heather M

    Link to Orange is the New Black discussion questions: http://piperkerman.com/orange/discussion-questions

    April 23, 2014

  • Patti

    Sad I won't be able to make it. Was interesting read.

    April 19, 2014

  • Kelly

    Loved the first season on Netflix. Can't wait to read the book. :-)

    April 4, 2014

  • Pat

    Can't wait to have a discussion on THIS book!!

    March 30, 2014

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Rafaël

We just grab a coffee and speak French. Some people have been coming every week for months... it creates a kind of warmth to the group.

Rafaël, started French Conversation Group

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