Happy Birthday, Piper Kerman, born September 28, 1969
- Well, the act of documenting your story and telling your story the way you want to tell it is really important, especially for folks who are outcasts and have been shamed.
- I think that if you set out to write a story about the biggest mistakes you’ve ever made, the worst things you’ve ever done as a person, you have a responsibility to be honest. But also the inherent challenge of writing is you have to have a protagonist that the reader wants to stay with.
- We have a racially based justice system that over-punishes, fails to rehabilitate, and doesn’t make us safer.
- Prison is quite literally a ghetto in the most classic sense of the world, a place where the U.S. government now puts not only the dangerous but also the inconvenient—people who are mentally ill, people who are addicts, people who are poor and uneducated and unskilled.
- Every human being makes mistakes and does things they’re not proud of. They can be everyday, or they can be catastrophic. And the unfortunate truth of being human is that we all have moments of indifference to other people’s suffering. To me, that’s the central thing that allows crime to happen: indifference to other people’s suffering.
Kerman is the author of the memoir, Orange is the New Black: My Year in a Women’s Prison.
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