Orange is the New Black for real!

by Evil Jenji

This week I found a treasure, Larry Smith’s blog, when Piper Kerman was stuck. It is inevitable to compare fiction and reality, but in my case I love to understand how the creative process happens, I come to understand and different points of view. The one by Piper Kerman, in the book, the one by Jenji Kohan and writers in the series and the another one by Larry Smith on the blog. I also read a fourth point of view, from Alex in real life (Catherine Cleary Wolters). I love both Piper’s book and the series. It is evident to me the creative capacity that the series has given us and the political footprint of the final seasons. It is a delight to understand the details of everything.

Pictures of Piper Kerman in prison in Danbury – Connecticut. The photos are blurred to protect people’s identity.

During the time that Piper Kerman was in prison, Larry Smith (her husband) kept a blog for 15 months, telling details of Piper ‘s life in prison (February 2004 to March 2005) and throughout, Smith refers to Kerman lovingly as “our girl.” In browsing the entries, little details of prison life emerge.

This blog later served as inspiration for the book Orange is the New Black. We see some very interesting details. Look…


May 09, 2004
Danbury, Connecticut 06811-3099

In order to visit, download this form and print it out. Send it to the prison, and at some point you’ll be approved to visit. As she says, this can take a while, so leave a lot of lead time. Up to three adults can visit at one time (and unlimited children, in case your kid has never been to a Federal prison). She’s really, really bored, so don’t expect her to let you leave too soon.

When you make a right onto the prison grounds, go up the road until you see visitors parking. Park and then walk to the right out of the lot, but don’t go to the building you’ll see straight ahead (that’s the really bad place). Rather, look up a hill to your left and you’ll see a building – that’s where you’re headed. As long as you’re on the list, there are no hassles once you’re there. Most people are quite nice.

You can’t bring ANYTHING in with you when you visit. You can’t hand Piper a book or a magazine, all of that has to come through the mail. You can buy Piper a soda or a candy bar or a scary-looking chicken sandwich from one of the vending machines, so bring change. And honestly, it’s really an intense experience to see Piper walk through the door in a prison uniform, so just keep that in mind.


Piper’s Coming Home- March 04, 2005

Today, Larry is in Chicago to take Piper home. I think we’re all happy/relieved/ecstatic that this whole ordeal is over. I’m sure Larry will dish when he gets back to Brooklyn, and hey, we may even get an appearance by the pipebomb herself — assuming she isn’t too busy auditioning for the new Apprentice. 🙂 [Ask Larry about that one. Welcome home, Piper.


Every time I read the real reports about Piper I get scared! Only then do we realize how much fiction there is in the series. But ok, because both are the work of highly talented professionals.

If I had to correct something in the series, it would be Larry’s character (Piper’s fiance.) In the series he is a silly and childish character, in real life he was extremely important, a very nice guy.

Let’s see another point where the series and the book meet? You remember that Larry in the series wrote an article for the New York Times talking about his captive bride. Because this article really exists, look at this link.

Larry’s blog still has interesting posts like the food the inmates cook and the list of the 10 most read books by the inmates … and it’s for real! if you are a fan of Orange you will love it! Look how interesting this recipe must be!

Recipes from Prison

May 27, 2004

Piper on some of the culinary magic that goes on up the hill. Bake at your own risk.

(popular at birthday and going away parties)

1 six-oz. package of Graham Crackers, Vanilla Wafers or Oreos
4-6 pats of margarine
1 round of Laughing Cow cheese (8 wedges)
4 cups of vanilla pudding
6 oz. of Coffee Mate
1/2 c. lemon juice (more to taste)

Steal the margarine from the dining hall, melt in microwave and crumble cookies into a 1-quart Tupperware dish that you’ve bought from the commissary or borrowed from your bunkie along with the margarine. Mix well and press firmly into the bottom of the dish. Place in the microwave on high for 1-2 minutes. Your crust is done.

In a separate dish, squash Laughing Cow cheese into as smooth a mass as possible. Mix in part of the lemon juice and continue to blend. Try to work out the lumps. Mix in pudding and continue to blend, add more lemon juice to taste. Blend until filling is as creamy as possible, then gradually mix in Coffee Mate. Some people double the Coffee Mate; this seems overboard to me. When mixture is smooth & thick, pour over the crust. Chill in your plastic washbucket filled with ice under your bed (or in a refrigerator if the part of the prison where you work has one you can slip it into), for at least 4 hours. Eat.

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