Here'a a lovely essay from today's LA TImes by my dear friend Rayya Elias (author of "Harley Loco"!) reflecting on her own time in prison, and how it compares to the new TV show "Orange is the New Black".

Really thoughtful and touching stuff here…

And may I just ask — have you all read the original memoir "Orange is the New Black", upon which the show is based? I would so strongly encourage it. It's such a powerful, self-examining, devastating and ultimately uplifting story. I read it years ago when it was first published, and gave Piper a glowing review. She's an amazing woman, who has become a mighty advocate for women in the American prison population. It's a honor to know her, and I'm glad to see her getting attention these days. I'm curious to find out if folks are finding their way back to her book through the show?

Meanwhile, Rayya's piece:,0,232368.story

Ring of truth in 'Orange Is the New Black'
"What do you think of ' Orange Is the New Black ?'" Since Netflix 's series about life in a women's prison premiered this summer, I've fielded the same question from almost everyone I know. I guess it's because I have some experience on the subject. Before I got clean, I spent many years in and out…

via Elizabeth Gilbert’s Facebook Wall