Author of Orange Is the New Black to Host Chat at UMass
The author of a book-turned-hit Netflix series is coming to UMass Lowell next month. But don’t expect to see her in a prison suit.
Piper Kerman, who penned Orange is the New Black, which was later turned into an award-winning show based on her experience, will be giving a talk at the Lowell school’s University Crossing center during a free event open to faculty, students, and the general public.
Kerman’s appearance will be followed by a book signing session at the school’s River Hawk Shop, the university’s new bookstore on campus.
The New York Times best-selling author is a Boston native and graduate of Smith College, the women’s school in Northampton, making her visit to Massachusetts somewhat of a homecoming since she was first swept up into Hollywood fame.
For those unfamiliar with Kerman’s background, the author briefly got involved in a relationship with a woman who was part of a drug ring when she was fresh out of school. For her role in the operation, Kerman was later indicted by federal officials for drug trafficking and money laundering. She pleaded guilty to the crimes in 2004, and later spent 13 months behind bars in a minimal security prison in Danbury, Connecticut.
Now, with a top seller under her belt, and some time in the clink in her past, Kerman spends her days talking about justice reform, the prison system and its flaws, and the “complete lack of guidance” for inmates once they are released.
Coincidentally, Taylor Schilling, the female lead who portrays Kerman in the Netflix series based on the author’s story, a program that stepped the bounds of traditional TV-watching and later scooped up three Emmy Awards and nine nominations, also has Massachusetts roots. Schilling won’t be at the event, but what’s better than the real deal?
“Free program” with Piper Kerman, Tuesday, September 30, at 6:30 p.m., at University Crossing, Moloney Hall, 220 Pawtucket St., Lowell.