Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Book ~ "Orange Is the New Black: My Year in a Women's Prison" (2010) Piper Kerman

From Amazon ~ 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.

I started off not liking Lauren ... I found her too cocky and arrogant. That's also the impression I got of her from her picture on the back cover. I didn't feel any sympathy for her.

But I kept with the book and am glad I did. Yes, she is more priviledged than most of the others in prison but she gave a good account of those she encountered. There were so many that it was hard to keep track of most of them.

It sounds like she grew a lot and is more appreciative of what she has. It would be interesting to see if she has kept in touch with the friends she made in prison and if she has been "giving back" to others given her experience.

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