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Relying on the kindness of strangers during her year's stint at the minimum security correctional facility in Danbury, Conn., Kerman, now a nonprofit communications executive, found that federal prison wasn't all that bad. In fact, she made good friends doing her time among the other women, many street-hardened drug users with little education and facing much longer sentences than Kerman's original 15 months. Convicted of drug smuggling and money laundering in 2003 for a scheme she got tangled up in 10 years earlier when she had just graduated from Smith College, Kerman, at 34, was a self-surrender at the prison: quickly she had to learn the endless rules, like frequent humiliating strip searches and head counts; navigate relationships with the other campers and unnerving guards; and concoct ways to fill the endless days by working as an electrician and running on the track. She was not a typical prisoner, as she was white, blue-eyed, and blonde (nicknamed the All-American Girl), well educated, and the lucky recipient of literature daily from her fiancé, Larry, and family and friends. Kerman's account radiates warmly from her skillful depiction of the personalities she befriended in prison, such as the Russian gangster's wife who ruled the kitchen; Pop, the Spanish mami; lovelorn lesbians like Crazy Eyes; and the aged pacifist, Sister Platte. Kerman's ordeal indeed proved life altering. (Apr.)
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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. --Kristine Huntley --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Editorial Reviews
The TV show is better than the book. Usually the book is better. This time the TV show is better. Oh, well.Published 10 hours ago by Lisa Erskine
I hate this book and I'm so surprised at the reviews. Piper Kerman should be arrested for writing the most boring book that I have ever read.Published 1 day ago by Laura Murphy
Well written, excellent book. Very damming of our horrible and ineffectual legal and penal system--great first hand account. Should be mandatory reading for all politicians.Published 1 day ago by Maria Rowe
I loved this, especially compared to the TV show. Halfway through season 3 I got bored and decided to read the book. Read morePublished 1 day ago by Kindle Customer
I liked the book, but it was very detailed in describing all the people she encountered while in prison. I found myself skipping over some of the chapters.Published 2 days ago by Barb Scadden
Good insights into prison life for women, from one who has been therePublished 2 days ago by Deanna R. Von Bargen
Eh...I was hoping that this book would be more exciting.
Prison sounds waaaaay easier than I ever imagined it could be. Read more