"Orange is the New Black” Author Ushers in New Ballroom

Just what can be achieved in a new SSU event space will be on display as Piper Kerman, well known author of the prison memoir “Orange is the New Black,” takes the stage in the new Student Center Ballroom A.

Free tickets for faculty, staff and students are now available at the Student Union box office for the Nov. 18 event which begins at 7 p.m.

In her memoir Orange is the New Black: My Year in a Woman's Prison, Piper Kerman recounts the 15 months that she spent in the Danbury Correctional Facility for a crime she had committed ten years prior as a very brief, very careless dalliance in the world of drug trafficking.

The memoir was adapted into the hit original Netflix series of the same name by Jenji Kohan, creator of Showtime's Weeds, and was recently renewed for a second season. It has been called "the best TV show about prison ever made" by the Washington Post and was lauded by Time's TV critic James Poniewozik for "the stunningly matter-of-fact way it uses the prison to create one of TV’s most racially and sexually diverse–and as important, complex–dramas [and] contrasts the power and class dynamics inside the prison with those outside the prison."

Compelling, moving, and often hilarious, the Kerman’s stories of the women she met while in prison raise issues of friendship and family, mental illness, the odd cliques and codes of behavior, the role of religion, the uneasy relationship between prisoner and jailor, and the almost complete lack of guidance for life after prison.

SSU criminal justice students will be exploring the issues raised in the TV series and in the original memoir earlier in the day. Criminal justice professors Barbara Bloom, a expert on women in prison, and Eric Williams, whose expertise is prison management, are facilitating the event.