• Orange Is the New Black

  • My Year in a Women's Prison
  • By: Piper Kerman
  • Narrated by: Cassandra Campbell
  • Length: 11 hrs and 11 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (385 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Now a Netflix Original Series • Number-One New York Times Best Seller

With a career, a boyfriend, and a loving family, Piper Kerman barely resembles the reckless young woman who delivered a suitcase of drug money 10 years before. But that past has caught up with her. Convicted and sentenced to 15 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.

“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)

©2010 Piper Kerman (P)2019 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

“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)

"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)

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What listeners say about Orange Is the New Black

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  • Overall
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    2 out of 5 stars

The show is better

Normally I enjoy the books better than the movies/shows but not this time around. The show was way better than the book. Would not recommend this book to others.

3 people found this helpful

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  • LB
  • 05-19-20

Great listen..

OITNB the book is different than OITNB Netflix version. I like the book better, it's a happier story of women helping women in a bad situation (prison). The characters are sometimes the same, but much of the narrative is changed. The Narrator sounds like the actress that plays Piper Kerman in the series (it isn't), If you are interested in how a book can be vastly changed for the entertainment on TV, this will play it out. Characters that had major parts in the series are generally misinterpreted completely as a thing in the series whereas the book just mentions them in passing. I liked this book better, it leaves you in a good place on the human side of things. These women care and help each other get through a hard time. And the guards aren't complete idiots.

2 people found this helpful

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Performance fine story boring

I’m sorry but this just does not go anywhere. I couldn’t finish it. Save your credit.

1 person found this helpful

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Great book, weird narration.

I really liked the book, and I’m so glad that I got it, and was able to hear the original story. The only problem I had with it was the way the narrator talked, and pronounced words. It drove me NUTS! She has this weird way of over pronouncing, and drawing out her A’s, along with the end of each sentence. I couldn’t tell if she just had an accent, or if she was making one up for Piper, but whatever it was, it didn’t work. Lol Aside from all that, it was really good, and I would still recommend it! :)

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Maybe my expectatives where high...

Hard to keep it to the end cuz... I keep losing interest in the narrative.

1 person found this helpful

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Awesome

Great book, couldn’t put it down, now watching the series. Piper is a great author and person.

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Way different and very good

the reader is amazing. way different than the tv series. I have a little difficulty to find the characters in the series because it doesn't match. i suggest to approach the book as you never saw the tv series

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A Good Listen

Very different from the show. But I feel an honest account none the less. Well worth it.

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The perfect book.

Loved it. The narration is excellently done. I go to bed listening to it nightly.

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what an amazing book

I have never seen the show and was reluctant to listen to the book because the show wasn't my cup of tea. Wow! I was floored. Piper has a beautiful way with words and conveys her experience eloquently. I'm so glad I listened

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