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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.[1]


The following is a list of all the chapters of the memoir:

  1. Are You Gonna Go My Way?
  2. It All Changed in an Instant
  3. 11187-424
  4. Orange Is the New Black
  5. Down the Rabbit Hole
  6. High Voltage
  7. The Hours
  8. So Bitches Can Hate
  9. Mothers and Daughters
  10. Schooling the OG
  11. Ralph Kramden and the Marlboro Man
  12. Naked
  13. Thirty-five and Still Alive
  14. October Surprises
  15. Some Kinda Way
  16. Good Time
  17. Diesel Therapy
  18. 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

Memoir Netflix Series
Piper Kerman Piper Chapman
Nora Jansen Alex Vause
Larry Smith Larry Bloom
Kristen Polly Harper
Mr Butorsky Sam Healy
Minetta/ Rosemarie Lorna Morello
Annette Anita DeMarco
Miss Luz Miss Rosa Cisneros
Toricella Joe Caputo
Agent "Gay Pornstar" Rotmensen George "Pornstache" Mendez
"Mamacita" Aleida Diaz
"Big Boo" Clemmons Carrie "Big Boo" Black
Janet "Junior" Riales Janae Watson
Warden Kuma Deboo Natalie "Fig" Figueroa
Nina Nicky Nichols
Yoga Janet Yoga Jones
Pop Galina 'Red' Reznikov
Sister Ardeth Platte Sister Jane Ingalls
Maria Carbon Dayanara Diaz
Ginger Solomon Gloria Mendoza (probably)
Lionnel "Grizzly" Houghton Yvonne "Vee" Parker
"Delicious" Tasha "Taystee" Jefferson
Pom-Pom Cindy "Black Cindy" Hayes
Yvette Maritza Ramos
Jae Poussey Washington (probably)
Miss Natalie Malcolm Miss Claudette Pelage
Allie B Leanne Taylor
"Pennsatucky" Tiffany "Pennsatucky" Doggett
Lili Cabrales/Morena "Crazy Eyes" Suzanne "Crazy Eyes" Warren
Carlotta Alvarado Blanca Flores
Agent Maple John Bennett
Doris Maria Ruiz
Amy Tricia Miller
Vanessa Robinson Sophia Burset
Agent DeSimon Joel Luschek
Toni Mercy Valduto (probably)
Carol Smith Amy Kanter-Bloom
Hoover  Humphrey


Kubra Balik



  • 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,[2][3] 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".[4] Their TV counterpart (Alex Vause) is very different from both Wolters and her novelized character, Jansen.[5]