Novel Discussions: February 2014

  Orange Is the New Black
  By Piper Kerman

  Date: Thursday, February 27, 2014

  Time: 2:00 – 3:15 p.m.

  Place: Faculty Lounge, fourth floor

 Register to Participate: Registration requested by February 20, 2014. (Advance registration enables us to tailor our plans to the size of the expected group. If you register and then later decide not to participate, we would be grateful if you would click on "Contact," above, and send us an email letting us know of your change in plans.)

 About the Book: In important ways, the book is quite different from the Netflix series–watching the series is no substitue for reading the book.  With respect to the overarching plot, however, the book and the television series can be described in the same way.  The book's publisher puts it this way:  "With a career, a boyfriend, and a loving family, Piper Kerman [Piper Champan in the series] 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."  Although the book is nonfiction, it reads like a novel, telling a deeply engaging story involving a range of unforgettable characters.

Reviews of the Book:

“Moving . . . . [T]ranscends the memoir genre's usual self-centeredness to explore how human beings can always surprise you.  You'd expect bad behavior in prison. But it's the moments of joy, friendship and kindness that the author experienced that make Orange so moving and lovely…You sense [Kerman] wrote Orange to make readers think not about her but her fellow inmates. And, boy, does she succeed." –USA Today

“It's a compelling awakening, and a harrowing one–both for the reader and for Kerman." –

“This book is impossible to put down because [Kerman] could be you.  Or your best friend.  Or your daughter." –Los Angeles Times

“[An] insightful and often very funny book…” –

"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