Get SF Weekly Newsletters
Pin It

Piper After Prison 

Wednesday, Mar 19 2014

When Netflix released Orange Is the New Black, women across America collectively exhaled. We didn't know we'd been holding our breath, waiting for a TV series to portray real women. But, suddenly, faced with a rich gumbo of race, culture, religion, sexual orientation, mental stability, gender identity, social ticks, and body types, we sucked in the stories unfolding within the show's minimum security prison: the stern, enigmatic Haitian woman who had been sold into the U.S. labor market as a child; the transgender hairdresser who did not give up loving her wife when she gave up being a man; the young Latina serving time with her mom; the meth head made into a martyr by the Pro Life movement for killing an abortion clinic nurse. Although Piper, the show's protagonist, is thin, blond, and privileged, she is not its star. The star is verisimilitude. Truth, they say, is in the details — like using maxipads to clean the cell room floor — but Piper Kerman, author of the germinal memoir, teaches us that compassion and laughter are also honest. Kerman is now a tireless advocate for prison reform and serves on the board of the Women's Prison Association.

Mon., March 31, 7:30 p.m., 2014

About The Author

Silke Tudor

Related Locations


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed


  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"