I’d seen the Netflix series before reading Piper Kerman’s prison memoir, and the two are quite different creatures. Whether by design or actual fact, the memoir seems to me to be less harsh and dramatic but also more wearing and demoralizing.
I’ve occasionally wondered what prison would be like. Kerman’s book has gone a long way toward answering that question for me. Her family and educational background are similar to mine and while I don’t have a criminal history, I could easily see myself looking through Kerman’s eyes and experiencing the same deep thoughts and struggles.