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Last Updated: Nov 19, 2014 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

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UCSB Reads 2015

The UC Santa Barbara Library is excited to announce the selection of a book for UCSB Reads 2015: Orange Is the New Black: My Year in a Woman’s Prison, the best-selling memoir by Piper Kerman that’s also the inspiration for an Emmy-nominated Netflix series.

Now in its ninth year, UCSB Reads brings the campus and Santa Barbara community together for a common reading experience. Using Orange Is the New Black as a starting point, we aim to engage readers in dialogue about issues of local and national significance, including criminal justice, the war on drugs, and racial and sexual identity. The book was selected by a panel of faculty, students, staff and community representatives.

In Orange Is the New Black, Kerman chronicles the 13 months she spent at a federal women’s minimum-security prison in Danbury, Connecticut, for laundering drug money. Blond and blue-eyed, with a supportive fiancé and family, a good lawyer and a college education, Kerman realized she was more fortunate than many of her prison peers. Still, she endured the humiliation of “squat and cough” searches, moldy showers, no privacy, and abuse or indifference from staff. Kerman also found friendship, generosity, courage, wisdom and acceptance in the relationships she developed with fellow inmates.

Since her release, Kerman has served on the board of the Women’s Prison Association and was called as a witness by the U.S. Senate to testify on women prisoners.

During the winter and spring quarters, the UCSB Library will sponsor faculty panels, book discussions, screenings and other events on campus and at local libraries. Kerman will offer a free lecture in UCSB’s Campbell Hall on April 15, 2015.

We hope you enjoy reading this thought-provoking book, and we look forward to your participation in UCSB Reads.



Previous UCSB Reads Books

2014: The Big Burn by Timothy Egan

2013: Moonwalking With Einstein by Joshua Foer

2012: Moby Duck by Donovan Hohn

2011: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

2010: Enrique's Journey by Sonia Nazario

2009: Ethics for the New Millenium by Dalai Lama

2008: The Travels of a T-shirt in the Global Economy by Pietra Rivoli

2007: Field Notes from a Catastrophe by Elizabeth Kolbert

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