The real Piper on Orange is the New Black

Piper Kerman poses at a screening of 'Orange is the New Black' in L.A. (Netflix/Facebook)

Piper Kerman poses at a screening of 'Orange is the New Black' in L.A. (Netflix/Facebook)


Writer Piper Kerman joins guest host Stephen Quinn to discuss her memoir, Orange is the New Black, and how her experiences in a women's penitentiary differ from the story told in the Netflix original series of the same title.

Kerman explains how she reconciles the disparities between book and show -- which stars Taylor Schilling as her fictional counterpart Piper Chapman -- and what it was really like to live behind bars as #11187-424.

"Piper Chapman is not Piper Kerman," she stressed, but added that the show creators really stayed true to the themes of the book, bringing to life an "unusual and fascinating community of women" to life.

Kerman explains that she cares more about helping the TV team represent an accurate prison experience than making them stick to her story. She also laments the inequality that results from vulnerable Americans being policed, prosecuted, and ultimately punished in disparate ways.

This clip from the Netflix drama introduces us to the character Nicky, while portraying Piper as a fish out of water. You can read an excerpt of the real Piper's book on her website.

Like the television character, Kerman was a middle-class New Yorker leading a yuppie lifestyle -- until she was sent to a women's prison years after being indicted for a non-violent crime. The women she met during her 15 month sentence, and the situations they faced, expanded her world view.

"The things we have in common are much more important than the things that divide us."

Taylor Schilling on Q

Jian also spoke to Orange is the New Black star Taylor Schilling about her role as Piper Chapman as well as her new film, Stay.

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