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Orange Is The New Black: My Year in a Women’s Prison (titled Orange is the New Black: My Time in a Women's Prison in some editions) is a memoir by author Piper Kerman detailing her time as an inmate at FCI Danbury, a minimum security prison located in Danbury, Connecticut. On July 11, 2013, Netflix started Orange Is the New Black, an original series based on this work.
When federal agents knocked on her door with an indictment in hand, Piper Kerman barely resembled the reckless young woman she was shortly after graduating Smith College. Happily ensconced in a New York City apartment, with a promising career and an attentive boyfriend, Piper was forced to reckon with the consequences of her very brief, very careless dalliance in the world of drug trafficking.
Following a plea deal for her 10-year-old crime, Piper spent a year in the infamous women’s correctional facility in Danbury, Connecticut, which she found to be no “Club Fed.” In Orange is the New Black: My Year in a Women’s Prison, Piper takes readers into B-Dorm, a community of colorful, eccentric, vividly drawn women. Their stories raise issues of friendship and family, mental illness, the odd cliques and codes of behavior, the role of religion, the uneasy relationship between prisoner and jailor, and the almost complete lack of guidance for life after prison.
Compelling, moving, and often hilarious, Orange is the New Black sheds a unique light on life inside a women’s prison, by a Smith College graduate who did the crime and did the time.
The following is a list of all the chapters of the memoir (TBC):
- Are You Gonna Go My Way?
- It All Changed in an Instant
- Orange Is the New Black
- Down the Rabbit Hole
- High Voltage
- The Hours
- So Bitches Can Hate
- Mothers and Daughters
- Schooling the OG
- Ralph Kramden and the Marlboro Man
- Thirty-five and Still Alive
- October Surprises
- Some Kinda Way
- Good Time
- Diesel Therapy
- It Can Always Get Worse
All the characters from the memoir are based on real life people and prison inmates in which the author, Piper Kerman encountered and knew during her time at Danbury Federal Corrections Institution, with all their names and some distinguishing characteristics changed to protect their identities, with the exception of Sister Ardeth Platte and Alice Gerard who gave Kerman permission to use their real names. Several characters from the memoir were adapted into the Netfix series Orange is the New Black with their names, characteristics, and personality traits changed to better suit the television series.
The following is a list of characters from the memoir and their counterparts in the Netflix series:
Orange is The New Black Characters
- Publication Date: April 6, 2010
- ISBN: 9780385523387
- Publication Date: March 8, 2011
- ISBN: 9780385523394
- The character Pop (Red in the show) is based on a woman named Papadakis, a name mentioned by Poussey Washington in "Fake It Till You Fake It Some More".
- Catherine Cleary Wolters, Piper Kerman's ex and the basis of Nora Jansen, published her own memoir entitled "Out of Orange: A Memoir". Their TV counterpart (Alex Vause) is very different from both Wolters and her novelized character, Jansen.
- ↑ Official site
- ↑ L.A. Weekly: Q&A with Kate Mulgrew
- ↑ Vulture: Kate Mulgrew on Embracing Red's Spiky Hair and Russian Accent
- ↑ The Huffington Post: Cleary Wolters, The Real Alex Vause, Shares Her Story For The First Time
- ↑ Vanity Fair: The Real Alex of Orange Is the New Black Speaks for the First Time