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Orange Is the New Black

My Year in a Women's Prison
Written by: Piper Kerman
Narrated by: Cassandra Campbell
Length: 11 hrs and 11 mins
5 out of 5 stars (1 rating)

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Publisher's Summary

Now a Netflix Original Series • Number-One New York Times Best Seller

With a career, a boyfriend, and a loving family, Piper Kerman barely resembles the reckless young woman who delivered a suitcase of drug money 10 years before. But that past has caught up with her. Convicted and sentenced to 15 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.

“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)

©2010 Piper Kerman (P)2019 Random House Audio

What the critics say

“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)

"Kerman neither sentimentalizes nor lectures. She keeps the details of her despair to a minimum along with her discussion of the outrages of the penal system, concentrating instead on descriptions of her direct experiences, both harrowing and hilarious, and the personalities of the women who shared them with her." (Boston Globe)

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  • Overall
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  • Deb Jorgensen
  • 2019-11-08

Excellent and interesting listen

I had to read the book after enjoying all the seasons of the series. Of course it wasn't the same, but none the less interesting. The narrator was excellent with each of her characters clearly defined. Definitely worth the time and price of admission! :)

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  • Jennifer F.
  • 2019-10-28

Great book, weird narration.

I really liked the book, and I’m so glad that I got it, and was able to hear the original story. The only problem I had with it was the way the narrator talked, and pronounced words. It drove me NUTS! She has this weird way of over pronouncing, and drawing out her A’s, along with the end of each sentence. I couldn’t tell if she just had an accent, or if she was making one up for Piper, but whatever it was, it didn’t work. Lol Aside from all that, it was really good, and I would still recommend it! :)

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  • Anonymous User
  • 2019-09-19

Maybe my expectatives where high...

Hard to keep it to the end cuz... I keep losing interest in the narrative.

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  • EBSB
  • 2019-09-18

Good book about redemption

I enjoyed the book and was happy it was nothing like the sensationalized TV show. The narrator was a bit annoying, though. She did a good job doing all of the accents, but when she’s speaking as Piper, she sounds like she’s having tea with a WASPy grandmother with her pinkie pointed out... even while swearing and retelling women peeing on the floor.

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  • Harleah Adrian
  • 2019-08-23

Great book, really relatable.

I really enjoyed this book. My husband is currently doing time in a state prison and so much of this really hit at home. This book gave me a whole new understanding of what my husband endures on a daily basis and gave me a new perspective on everything. Definitely a good read.