In 2004, during her year in prison, Piper Kerman began a correspondence with a total stranger, Joe Loya, who had served seven years in prison for bank robberies, and who survived two years in solitary confinement through reading and writing. Loya’s memoir, The Man Who Outgrew His Prison Cell, was published that year to critical acclaim, and he was featured in the 2007 documentary Protagonist, by Oscar-winner Jessica Yu.
During and after serving her sentence, Loya encouraged Kerman to write with honesty and humor about her experiences and without regard for established ways of thinking about crime, punishment, and prison.Orange Is the New Black, Kerman’s 2010 book about her year of incarceration, has been adapted by Jenji Kohan into the award-winning Netflix series of the same name. Join Kerman and Loya for a conversation about memoir, prison narratives, and the life-saving and life-changing power of storytelling. Introduction by Elizabeth Sackler. Video courtesy of the Elizabeth A. Sackler Foundation.
Part of the ongoing Sackler Center series, States of Denial: The Illegal Incarceration of Women, Children, and People of Color.