Saturday, October 18, 2014

I'm Reading "Orange is the New Black"

I am reading Orange is the New Black by Piper Kerman and she is giving me an inside look at life in a women's prison. Most people I have spoken to have heard of the made for TV version with the lesbian scenes and the overabundance of using-the-toilet scenes but they didn't know it was based on a book by Piper. The book is not exactly like the TV version. The characters are there Pop, Vanessa, Pennsatucky, "Crazy Eyes", Yoga Janet but not their back story as in the movie. The anecdotes in the book are not as dramatic and colorful or sexual as on TV.

I am on page 199 and the inmates are upset about this article written by Lynn Tuohy in 2004 that gives the impression that life in the Danbury Camp was like living in a big hotel. The informant gives the impression that the soon-to-be-imprisoned Martha Stewart would fit right in with all the classy inmates.  Piper, on the other hand, described the prison as a ghetto for the poor, uneducated and unskilled. In her opinion there was a revolving door between the ghetto where the poor, uneducated and unskilled lived on the outside and the ghetto in the prison system.  Turned out that the authorities really did not want Martha at Danbury anyway; there would be too much media focus on the conditions of the prison.

I am enjoying the book. Piper is great at expressing her emotions mainly her worry and humiliation but also her pleasure. She worried about her family and fiance and how her going to prison would affect them. She expressed her pleasure when receiving visitors in prison. She wrote of her pain and humiliation after seeing the prison gynecologist. Also, Piper has a lot of opinions about the prison system. I would rate this 4 out of 5.

1 comment:

Anna Hamilton said...

I had no idea that the series evolved from a book. After reading your review, I'm going to find the book!