Season Four of Orange is the New Black premieres tonight! Last year, Buzzfeed published a comprehensive list of every book the Litchfield crew mentioned in Season Three. A show with such obviously well-read writers has to have bookworm fans, so we found a bunch of titles to tackle after you’re done binge-watching.
Here are my suggestions:
The Exception, by Christian Jungersen
A mysterious killer threatens a group of women working together at the Danish Centre for Genocide Information. When the colleagues start to think the murderer is among them, the backstabbing begins. In this case study of women in confinement, Jungersen peppers his narrative with factual accounts of group psychology studies—making it seem like genocide is just one stolen stapler around the corner.
Pastoralia, by George Saunders
The tile story in Saunders’ second collection finds two people who don’t like each other very much stuck living together in a caveman exhibit at a failing theme park. An absurdist, screamingly funny take on institutionalization, arbitrary rules, and the perils of surveillance.
The Meaning of Freedom: And Other Difficult Dialogues, by Angela Davis
The noted prison abolitionist reckons with the economic and historical forces that lead to America’s current plight of mass incarceration.
And here are some recommendations from Booklist editors:
Annie Bostrom suggests this YA memoir about a young man in federal prison:
Hole in My Life, by Jack Gantos
Here’s Donna Seaman’s favorite novel about a poetry class at a women’s prison:
Channeling Mark Twain, by Carol Muske-Dukes
And here’s Rebecca Vnuk’s favorite horror story about a women’s prison:
Fellside, by M.R. Carey
Finally, some classic prison books, courtesy of Bill Ott:
The Animal Factory, by Edward Bunker
In the Belly of the Beast, by Jack Abbott
A Place to Stand, by Jimmy Santiago Baca
That Smell and Notes from Prison, by Sonallah Ibrahim
Soul on Ice, by Eldridge Cleaver