Well, maybe this is unfair of me, but here goes: It still feels too self-congratulatory, too arrogant. You may call yourself a fan, but few truly are. In the book we find out that she maintains her relationship with her fiancé throughout her entire stay in prison and has a very small time where she serves with the ex-lover who ratted her out. She teaches creative nonfiction writing to incarcerated men and women. The isolation of some non-readers is profound even though they walk the same streets with us.
It made that part of her life so unreal that I didn't care much about reading anything involving Larry or her family. I was very touched so many times. Meanwhile, the ghetto in the outside world is a prison as well, and a much more difficult one to escape from. She was so self-centred and all she wrote about was herself. Anyways, I'm glad I listened to it. Rhode Island is right in New England, extremely close to Connecticut and Massachusetts. No one would call Nora a classic beauty, but she had wit and charm in excess and was a master at the art of seeming effortlessness.
Join the Circle for author chats and more. I think it is important because as an educated woman, I can relate. One day in the spring Nora returned home with a brand-new white Miata convertible and a suitcase full of money. Our system needs a big overhaul in my opinion. Though she came from a Boston family of high achievers, doctors and lawyers, she majored in theater.
However, she does own up to her mistakes and the zany, funny and heartbreaking side characters certainly made up for any of the Mary-Sueing. Very readable and interesting and hard to put down. But despite, or because of, the fact that we lived in the closest of quarters, I knew virtually nothing about her--just that she was from Jamaica and that she had two children, a daughter and a young son. I, however, did not find that to be the case at all. Wie bewahrt man Würde, Liebe und Achtung, wenn man sie nicht erfährt? When she was in Europe or Southeast Asia for a long period of time, I all but moved into her house, caring for her beloved black cats, Edith and Dum-Dum. God, it was so boring. She keeps the details of her despair to a minimum along with her discussion of the outrages of the penal system, concentrating instead on descriptions of her direct experiences, both harrowing and hilarious, and the personalities of the women who shared them with her.
It's like she got out of jail, realized she could sell a book about her experiences, and cobbled together some random stories to form a semblance of a book. And I had the same reaction to Kerman's book. While it can be a little disjointed and awkward in parts, it has its charm. We can literally feel the calmness and acceptance that attaches to her story. Piper just makes observations, occasionally harks to some sociological data and societal differences she's noticed, but it's done in such an offhanded and dismissive way.
Kerman spoke about this type of prison guard, although her experience was pretty run of the mill because she was there to do her time, and not to create problems. Even in relation to the people who are anointed with power in the outside world -- cops, elected officials, soldiers -- we have rights within our interactions. These people were my friends and I was sad when I had to leave them. There was absolutely no payoff for filing a complaint. As we always hear, conflict is the essence of interesting drama.
And, boy, does she succeed. I, however, did not find that to be the case at all. Heartbreaking, hilarious, and at times enraging, Kerman s story offers a rare look into the lives of women in prison why it is we lock so many away and what happens to them when they re there. She keeps the details of her despair to a minimum along with her discussion of the outrages of the penal system, concentrating instead on descriptions of her direct experiences, both harrowing and hilarious, and the personalities of the women who shared them with her. I think she did a fairly superior job of portraying a wide range of feelings and essentially laid bare her nervousness, fear, trepidation, humor, anger, happiness, and loneliness. Piper is a graduate of Smith College.
The width and variety of knowledge in the world was terrifying to some of them. It's a memoir, so it's about her experience. Kerman begins to so highly value her fellow inmates that when any one of them is released, it becomes more a time of sorrow and regret than elation. This book is so very devoid of personality that it feels like it was written by someone totally unattached to the situation rather than by the person who lived it. This is when she talks of penitence and accepting the harm she has caused to her future husband and family members and friends. From her first strip search to her final release, Kerman learns to navigate this strange world with its strictly enforced codes of behavior and arbitrary rules. I can see where people who love the show would find the book a huge letdown.
You never, ever get the sense that she learned anything from her experience aside from learning that sanitary towels can be used in a variety of ways. Her innocence and goodness is over-emphasized and her drug involvement glossed over. I picked up this book as background reading for a work project, and ended up loving it. I will never forget it. But that past has caught up with her.