Orange is the new Black: Author Visit

By Molly Hayden

Last week, I was given the opportunity to interview the author of Orange is the New Black: My Year in a Women’s Prison, Piper Kerman, whose book was the basis for the extremely popular Netflix original show. Kerman’s book is centered around her stint in a women’s correctional facility in Danbury, Connecticut. In her memoir, Kerman discusses all aspects of her life in prison, from the people to the infamous ‘Prison cheesecake’.

Photo taken by Jung Maeng
Photo taken by Jung Maeng

Here is an excerpt from the interview. The full story will be featured in the October edition of The Shen Pen.

Given the chance what would you change about our society?

Well, in a realistic sense I would want all kids to have the fundamentals of what they need, like their health, safety and education. So that all kids start out on equal footing. It’s an ideal that we have but not necessarily a reality.

Do you have some advice for aspiring authors?

Oh yes! My advice for aspiring writers is to have a sense of who the audience is for this story, a farily specific sense of what the audience already knows, and what they want to know. And then you’ll be able to craft a story that really connects with them [the audience]. 

What event (other than prison) stands out the most to you during your lifetime?

The birth of my son.

What do you want people to know about you?

I think that everyone should know that education is absolutely the thing that nobody can ever take away from you no matter what. So it’s easy to imagine what your life would be like without certain possessions, but no one can imagine what it would be like to not have the education that they have. It really changes your brain to an enormous extent. That’s why it’s such a treasure, no matter what. 


I would like to thank Ms. Kerman for her time. I would also like to thank the staff of the Clifton Park-Halfmoon Public Library, for hosting the event and allowing the paper to be there.


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