Piper Kerman

Piper Kerman is vice president of a Washington, D.C.–based communications firm that works with foundations and nonprofits. A graduate of Smith College, she lives in Brooklyn.
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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
 
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Vi har alle begået fejltrin uden konsekvenser for vores videre færd. Men for Piper Kerman resulterede en dum ungdommelig handling i at hun røg i fængsel 10 år senere.

Hun har karriere, kæreste og en kærlig familie, og Piper Kerman ligner på ingen måde den letsindige unge kvinde, der ti år tidligere rejste til Zürich med en kuffert fyldt med narkopenge. Men fortiden har indhentet hende efter ungdommens vildfarelse. Efter at være blevet idømt femten måneder i det berygtede forbundsfængsel i Danbury, Connecticut, bliver den helt almindelige otteogtyveårige, velstående og veluddannede kvinde nu modtaget med åbne arme af fængselspersonalet, der som det første advarer hende mod ’lesbiske aktiviteter’ i fængslet: ”Der er lesbiske deroppe. De er der, men de kommer ikke til at genere dig. Nogle af dem vil forsøge at blive venner med dig og sådan noget – dem skal du bare holde dig fra! Du skal vide, at du ikke behøver have lesbisk sex. Jeg er af den gamle skole. Jeg billiger ikke den slags fjolleri.“ Og nok er alle klædt i orange kedeldragter, men race er den markør, som dagligdagen organiseres efter.

Fra den indledende kropsvisitering til den afsluttende løsladelse lærer Kerman at navigere rundt i denne ejendommelige verden med dens strengt håndhævede adfærdskodekser og vilkårlige regler. Hun møder kvinder fra alle samfundslag, som forbløffer hende med deres små, symbolske venligheder, hårde visdomsord og simple udtryk for accept. Kermans historie er hjerteskærende, hyle morsom og til tider dybt frustrerende, og den giver et sjældent indblik i tilværelsen i et kvindefængsel.

”Den bedste fængselsserie nogensinde.” Washington Post
Netflix’s tv-serie ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK, som går sin sejrsgang i mange lande, baserer sig på Piper Kermans (der i serien hedder Piper Chapman) erindringsbog om sin tid som indsat i et amerikansk kvindefængsel. Serien, der har sat gang i debatten om fremstillinger af køn, klasse og race, er ikke mindst blevet rost for sit rigt facetterede billede af den lesbiske kvinde.

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