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'Orange Is The New Black' In Federal Women's Prison

Apr 6, 2010 (Talk of the Nation)

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Smith graduate Piper Kerman was bored with her middle class life — so she joined a group of bohemian artists-turned-drug smugglers. After traveling to exotic resorts and smuggling a suitcase packed with drug money from Chicago to Brussels, she broke free from the drug trade and found a new life, normal jobs and a blooming romance.

But 10 years later, federal officers knocked on her door. Kerman pleaded guilty to drug smuggling and money laundering and went on to serve time in a federal women's prison in Danbury, Conn.

In her memoir, Orange Is The New Black: My Year In A Women's Prison, Kerman recounts a year in which she learned to clean her cell with maxipads, to wire a light fixture, and to make prison cheesecake — all while finding camaraderie with women from all walks of life.

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