Piper Kerman will discuss her newly released memoir Orange is the New Black: My Year in a Women's Prison as part of AuthorsLive@GreenwichLibrary on Thursday, May 13, at 7 p.m., in the Cole Auditorium at Greenwich Library.
Orange is the New Black takes you on the journey of a curious post-grad swept up in the underworld of international drug trafficking, her escape and subsequent arrest six years later. Compelling, moving and often hilarious, Orange is the New Black sheds a unique light on life inside Danbury's federal prison, by a Smith College graduate who did the crime and did the time.
Piper Kerman majored in theater at Smith College and graduated in the recession year of 1992. So the boho Bostonian stuck around Northampton, waiting tables and spinning her wheels. Then she got involved with Nora Jansen, who suddenly acquired a lot of money, and before she knew it, Kerman was crisscrossing the globe with her drug-trafficking girlfriend and even, just once, running drug money herself on a trip from Chicago to Brussels.
Very quickly, Kerman realized that she was in an underworld way over her head, so she moved to San Francisco, got a job in TV production, met a nice Jewish boy named Larry, and settled down. In 1998, they moved to New York City to pursue their careers. Then, one May afternoon, the doorbell rang at their West Village walk-up. Who could that be? "Miss Kerman? It's officers Maloney and Wong." Thus began a glacially slow legal journey toward Kerman's 13-month stretch in Danbury, Connecticut's federal prison, almost ten years after her crime.
"This is a serious and bighearted book that depicts life in a women's prison with great detail and... with empathy and respect for Piper Kerman's fellow prisoners, most of whom did not and do not have her advantages and options, " said Dave Eggers, author of Zeitoun and co-author of Surviving Justice: America's Wrongfully Convicted and Exonerated.
Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love said, "I loved this book, to a depth and degree that caught me by surprise... 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. That was the surprising twist: that behind the bars of women's prisons grow extraordinary friendships, ad hoc families, and delicate communities. In the end, this book is not just a tale of prisons, drugs, crime, or justice; it is, simply put, a beautifully told story about how incredible women can be, and I will never forget it."
Just Books will provide copies of the book, which will be available for purchase and signing at the event. Free and open to the public. AuthorsLive@GreenwichLibrary, our ongoing author series, is free and open to the public. For more information, please call Wayne Campbell at (203) 622-7922.