I’m assuming everyone has watched the Netflix series by now. Because if you haven’t, then I don’t understand what you are doing with your life. Do you not like being happy? Do you not liking having nice things?
The show and the book are very different. But, if you were shying away from picking up the book because Nexflix Piper is a tool, Book Piper is much, much better (as is Book Larry, not that that is much of a feat). But there’s also more of her (because it’s a book written by her and all). What I love about the show is the supporting cast is so perfect, but the book only has short mentions about Kerman’s fellow inmates.
There’s also things that the show didn’t touch on, which were interesting. For example, Kerman had to wait YEARS to finally go to prison. And it’s not that she was given a set date for incarceration, she was kept in limbo as to when they would actually make her go. I can’t imagine living in that state of flux for years. I get overly anxious when a friend says, “I’ll pick you up this evening.” What is evening to you? 8? 7? 3am? Should I eat first? Be specific! So I can only imagine having the government tell you, “you’ll go to prison. Someday. Soon. Soonish.”
Kerman and Vause were never housed in the same prison, either. They did run into each other in Chicago for a trial of an associate, but there was no on and off again romance between them after Vause named her. Vause (real name Catherine Clearly Wolters) has only recently began speaking out about Kerman the popularity of Orange is the New Black, including writing her own memoir about her criminal experience, Out of Orange (which I still need to pick up). It’ll be interesting to hear the “bulldog faced” woman’s side of the story. (Kerman calls her that at least twice, which seems a little petty to me, but I also didn’t have an ex that got me sent to prison, so I think kerman gets a pit of a pass on the name calling.)
I won’t go all masters of criminal justice on you (although I could!), but I really think it’s important for American taxpayers to read these stories from the people we are incarcerating. The prison system is a BIG business and more and more citizens are getting incarcerated. You should know what your tax money is doing. We call our prison system the Department of Corrections, but is “correcting” behavior really the purpose of prisons anymore? Or are we just warehousing people for an indiscriminate amount of time?