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UCSB Reads 2015

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 Women’s Prison, the best-selling memoir by Piper Kerman that’s also the inspiration for an Emmy-winning 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, following her conviction for laundering drug money. Blond and blue-eyed, with a supportive fiancé and family, a good lawyer and a college education, Kerman feels more fortunate than many of her fellow inmates. Still, she describes the challenges and humiliations of prison life—the lack of freedom and privacy, and abuse or indifference from prison staff. Kerman also describes the friendship, generosity, courage, wisdom, and acceptance that she found in relationships with other women in prison.

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.


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