Download Orange Is the New Black: My Year in a Women's Prison Audiobook

Orange Is the New Black: My Year in a Womens Prison Audiobook, by Piper Kerman Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Piper Kerman Narrator: Cassandra Campbell Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: June 2019 ISBN: 9780593163047
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (5,596 ratings) (rate this audio book)
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NOW A NETFLIX ORIGINAL SERIES • #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
 
With a career, a boyfriend, and a loving family, Piper Kerman 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—one of the millions of people who disappear “down the rabbit hole” of the American penal system. From her first strip search to her final release, Kerman learns to navigate this strange world with its strictly enforced codes of behavior and arbitrary rules. She meets women from all walks of life, who surprise her with small tokens of generosity, hard words of wisdom, and simple acts of acceptance. Heartbreaking, hilarious, and at times enraging, Kerman’s story offers a rare look into the lives of women in prison—why it is we lock so many away and what happens to them when they’re there.
 
Praise for Orange Is the New Black
 
“Fascinating . . . The true subject of this unforgettable book is female bonding and the ties that even bars can’t unbind.”People (four stars)
 
“I loved this book. It’s a story rich with humor, pathos, and redemption. What I did not expect from this memoir was the affection, compassion, and even reverence that Piper Kerman demonstrates for all the women she encountered while she was locked away in jail. I will never forget it.”—Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love
 
“This book is impossible to put down because [Kerman] could be you. Or your best friend. Or your daughter.”Los Angeles Times
 
“Moving . . . transcends the memoir genre’s usual self-centeredness to explore how human beings can always surprise you.”USA Today
 
“It’s a compelling awakening, and a harrowing one—both for the reader and for Kerman.”—Newsweek.com Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • Orange transcends 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
  • In Orange Is the New Black, Kerman puts us inside, from the first strip search...to the prison-issue unwashed underwear to the cucumbers and raw cauliflower that count as salad.... This book is impossible to put down because she could be you. Or your best friend. Or your daughter. Los Angeles Times
  • Don’t let the irreverent title mislead: This is a serious and bighearted book that depicts life in a women’s prison with great detail and—crucially—with empathy and respect for Piper Kerman’s fellow prisoners, most of whom did not and do not have her advantages and options. With its expert reporting and humane, clear-eyed storytelling, Orange Is the New Black will join Ted Conover’s Newjack among the necessary contemporary books about the American prison experience. Dave Eggers, author of Zeitoun and co-author of Surviving Justice: America's Wrongfully Convicted and Exonerated

    "I can't stop thinking about this marvelous book, about the generous and lovely women with whom Piper Kerman served her time. I never expected to pick up a memoir about prison and find myself immersed in a story of grace, of friendship, of loyalty and love. I have never read anything like this book, and I will read and reread it again and again.
  • Kerman’s book is a fascinating look down the rabbit hole that is prison. . . . Unforgettable. People
  • I loved this book, to a depth and degree that caught me by surprise. What I did not expect from this memoir was the affection, compassion, and even reverence that Piper Kerman demonstrates for all the women she encountered while she was locked away in jail. That was the surprising twist: that behind the bars of women's prisons grow extraordinary friendships, ad hoc families, and delicate communities. In the end, this book is not just a tale of prisons, drugs, crime, or justice; it is, simply put, a beautifully told story about how incredible women can be, and I will never forget it. Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love
  • 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
  • Vivid, revealing. Entertainment Weekly
  • [An] insightful and often very funny book. Salon
  • In Orange Is the New Black, Kerman presents–devoid of self-pity, and with novelistic flair–life in the clink as less Caged Heat and more Steel Magnolias. Vanity Fair

Listener Reviews

Write a Review
  • 0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 Julie | 9/16/2018

    " I liked the book so much better than the show. Piper seems like a down-to-earth gal and I enjoyed hearing about her journey through the Federal Prison System. Love that she paid her dues to society and is working to reform the prison system. I was disgusted to discover the BOP doesn't have much interest in preparing inmates for release. Good book! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nisha | 2/9/2014

    " An incredible memoir telling how much courage and strength a woman can have. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rose | 2/3/2014

    " In the end, I was somewhat disappointed in the book. I liked the characters, and I was engaged by the plot, but I wanted the author to do more with her story. She was in a rather unique situation: A well educated upper middle class woman with journalistic connections who was in prison for a period of time for a somewhat scummy crime (heroin smuggling), that she actually committed. She was both far enough removed from the prison culture to be able to give an observer's perspective, and entwined enough to be a part of the prison community. While her escapades are interesting- I have no objection to the work as a literary piece- she only touches on issues such as the utter lack of resources available for reintegration of prisoners, and the abuses of power within the prison system. Perhaps I am too demanding of someone who has the simple goal of sharing her experiences, but I felt like Piper Kerman squandered an opportunity to bring some awareness to a , excuse my language, fucked up system that chugs along under most people's radar. An Excert from Piper's couple of pages on reintegration classes: "Next we heard about housing. Housing, employment, health and family- these are the factors that determine weather a person returning home from prison will succeed or fail as a law-abiding citizen. I knew the guy who was leading this session from CMS- he was a nice enough guy. And he talked about what he knew- which was insulation, aluminum siding, and the best kind of roof to put on your house. He talked about interiors too. I was so disgusted with BOP's farcical pre-release program that I just shut my eyes and waited for it to be over. One woman raised her hand "Um, Mr Green, that's cool and all, but I need to find an apartment to rent. Can you talk a little bit about how to get an apartment, and if there are any programs we could qualify for, you know, affordable housing and stuff. Someone told me I should just go to a homeless shelter..." He looked not irritated, but unsure "yeah, well, I don't really know too much about that. The best way to find an apartment is in the paper" And that's it. The penal system releasing people who have done their time straight into homeless shelters is a big deal! Especially if those people have kids or elderly parents who they need to care for. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sarah | 1/28/2014

    " Very informative about prisons and the people in them. This is a book I'll be thinking about for a while. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tami | 1/23/2014

    " An interesting read, but not really sure I'd recommend it. The book lacked flow and the author would literally jump from one story to the next without any obvious connection or cohesion, making the read very frustrating and choppy. The author also was a bit too self-aggrandizing for me. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kendall | 1/14/2014

    " I found this book fascinating. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Shea | 1/14/2014

    " It was fascinating to watch the author's entry into prison and everyone's advice to her about how she should not make friends with anyone. Necessary to the author and the other inmates was a community where you could help each other along. It brings to light how we are made for relationship in this life, and how we need each other more than we think we do. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Sara | 1/7/2014

    " I didn't get into this book from the get-go, but it wasn't until I was about halfway through that I realized why...it was HER! I couldn't stand her!! I found her to be completly self-involved and a fair weather friend to he fellow inmates. She never tired of telling us that she was a blonde with a tight ass, and that those around her referred to her as a blonde with a tight ass. From her occasional prison lingo (oh, hey, I forgot that we used to use this phrase to describe such and such. Let me throw it in here to show how real it was!), to her comparing living at Smith College with females to living in prison with females, she drove me up a wall. It infuriated me that she complained about how hard it was, while she had a constant stream of visitors, mail, a house AND a job to go home to, whereas her friends were struggling with the idea of being on the outside with nothing. Her privlege bothered me, I'm not afriad to say it. But it wasn't just her privlege, it was her privlege and then her audacity to write a book about how terrible it is being on the inside. I don't suppose it's an easy ride for anyone to be locked up, and goodness knows I don't know how I would handle it, but I'd much rather hear from Pops or any of the others, on what life was like for them on the inside, because I'm pretty certain it would be a whole other kind of book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rachel | 1/3/2014

    " I thought it was pretty slow in the middle, but I enjoyed the book. She's funny! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Christine | 12/29/2013

    " A bit long-winded, but an interesting read. Made prison seem like a cake-walk. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jeanine | 12/29/2013

    " I enjoyed reading about Piper's journey and learning about the holes in the U.S. prison system. It piqued my interest about this 70 billion dollar industry. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Carmen | 12/24/2013

    " Really, really interesting and personal story. Unlike any other memoir I've ever read, the author has a way of making the reader feel like if she could end up in this situation, any us could. Then she tells us how to survive. Highly recommended. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Irene | 12/23/2013

    " loved this book, would make a great all school read. great memoir. i often recommend this one to students for their memoir projects senior year "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Pam | 12/16/2013

    " Interesting look at life in a minimum security prison - and how the woman got there. Easy read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Linda | 6/8/2013

    " The writing was so descriptive I felt like I was in prison with her sometimes. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Staci | 4/28/2013

    " Interesting book, but the whole "I'm luckier/better educated/have better support than most other women here" attitude got pretty old pretty fast... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Crys | 4/23/2013

    " I'd go drink with Piper! She's got street cred! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Diane | 3/23/2013

    " Interesting, but with an odd mix of ghetto prison slang and normal language. Didn't always flow well. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jodi | 3/23/2013

    " Very interesting. Just goes to show that the stupid things we do in our younger years can haunt us as adults!!! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kathy | 3/15/2013

    " Loved this book - so interesting! A fast read which offers amazing insight.... Couldn't put it down once I started! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Limeminearia | 2/4/2013

    " The title makes it seem like it will be flippant or by an annoying person, but actually it's great, well written, touching, I couldn't put it down. A super compelling story. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Betsy | 1/16/2013

    " An interesting study of the prison and sentencing system, well written though a bit too self-congratulatory at times. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jesse | 1/6/2013

    " An interesting read. Only somewhat the story I expected it to be, an easy & interesting read I didn't want to put down. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 nitsirkvil | 12/15/2012

    " a very quick read. interesting story. avoids the easy observations/lessons for more thought provoking ones. enjoyed. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Dana | 12/9/2012

    " This book is a true story and fascinating! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Julie | 10/15/2012

    " Nothing really happens to her. In fact, it sort of makes me think doing federal prison time for a white collar crime isn't so bad. Not that I'm planning on committing one or anything. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Debra | 7/12/2012

    " I picked up this book because my favorite color is orange. It is very well-written, the author takes full responsibility for her actions and more interesting than I expected. The book showed the kindness of people I might have otherwise been afraid of. I recommend it. "

About the Author

Piper Kerman is a vice president at a Washington, DC–based communications firm that works with foundations and nonprofits. A graduate of Smith College, she lives in Brooklyn with her husband.

About the Narrator

Cassandra Campbell, Audie Award–nominated narrator and winner of several Earphones Awards, has performed in regional theaters across the country and in several off-Broadway shows at the Public Theater and the Mint Theater. In addition to narrating audiobooks, acting, and directing, she is a commercial and documentary voice-over artist.