The hit Netflix original series, “Orange Is the New Black,” is based on the memoir of a woman who served time in a Danbury prison and she will be in Connecticut next month to give a talk and sign her books.
The Netflix show is based on the 2010 best-selling memoir by Piper Kerman, "Orange Is the New Black: My Year in a Women's Prison," which chronicles her journey in the Danbury Federal Correctional Institution after being indicted on charges connected to her involvement in a lover’s drug smuggling operation.
The Harriet Beecher Stowe Center calls the stories Kerman wrote of the women she met while in prison "compelling, moving and often hilarious" and said they raise "issues of friendship and family, mental illness, the odd cliques and codes of behavior, the role of religion, the uneasy relationship between prisoner and jailor, and the almost complete lack of guidance for life after prison."
The book and series has prompted a national discussion on challenges women face in the prison system and Kerman now serves on the board of the Women's Prison Association.
If you are not familiar with the story, Kerman was a 22-year-old Smith College graduate romantically tied to Nora Jansen, a woman connected to West African drug lord and ended up transporting a suitcase of drug money from Chicago to Belgium, she wrote in a column in Marie Claire.
“International baggage claim in the Brussels airport was large and airy, with multiple carousels circling endlessly. I scurried from one to another, desperately trying to find my black suitcase. Because it was stuffed with drug money, I was more concerned than one might normally be about lost luggage,” is how Kerman began the column she wrote for “Marie Claire” in March 2010.
Kerman also talked about the book in an interview with WAMC. Listen here.
The main character of the Netflix show is Piper Chapman, played by Taylor Schilling, who experiences difficulty adapting to the hardships of prison life for during her 15-month sentence.
Because of overwhelming demand, the local talk will take place at Hartford Stage, at 60 Church Street, at 7 p.m .on Thursday, Dec. 12.
Tickers are $25 or $20 for members of the Stowe or Twain museums. You can call 860-280-3130 or buy them online.
Park in the garage next door to Hartford Stage and mention the event for discounted $6.50 parking rate.
Women on Our Own, an artistic outreach program made up of women re-entered the community after serving in prison will perform.