Monday, May 10, 2010

New book in our Leisure Reading section: Orange is the New Black

Piper Kerman is an alumna of two somewhat exclusive, single-sex institutions, and received an education at each. The first is Smith College. The second is the federal correctional facilty in Danbury, Connecticut, and this experience is the subject of her memoir, Orange is the New Black, now available in our Leisure Reading section.

The first and obvious question, one asked of Kerman many times both during and after her incarceration: how did the “All-American Girl” (blonde, blue-eyed, privileged and educated) end up behind razor wire and heavy locked doors? As Kerman herself says in an interview with the Christian Science Monitor, she “went looking for trouble and found it.”

After graduating from Smith with a theatre degree, Kerwin stayed in Northampton, Massachusetts, waiting tables and generally leading a bohemian existence. She met and became romantically involved with Nora, a sophisticated older woman with a secret: she is in the employ of a West African drug kingpin. The younger woman was seduced by Nora’s glamorous lifestyle and easy money, and agreed once—just once—to help out by smuggling a suitcase full of drug money from Chicago to Brussels. After that mission, feeling she'd gotten in over her head, Kerwin broke off the relationship and started a new life on the West Coast. With a new job and a new boyfriend, she believed she’d put the whole episode behind her for good—until she heard a knock at the door…

See tomorrow for the full review of Orange is the New Black by Piper Kerman!

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