Larry in Orange Is the New Black: Piper’s Husband

This article is an excerpt from the Shortform summary of "Orange Is The New Black" by Piper Kerman. Shortform has the world's best summaries of books you should be reading.

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Who is Larry in Orange Is the New Black? What is Larry’s role in the book, and how does he support Piper?

Larry in Orange Is the New Black is Piper Kerman’s fiance. Larry helps Piper through her trial and supports her while she is in prison.

Read more about Larry from Orange Is the New Black.

Meeting Larry in Orange Is the New Black

After breaking it off with Nora, Piper returned to San Francisco to begin a more conventional, risk-free life. She landed a job as a television producer and editor, working primarily on infomercials. She settled into a stable, normal, contented life, with a good network of friends. She was glad to put her criminal past behind her and found that she was happy living a more conventional life, believing that her thirst for adventure had at last been satisfied.

While in San Francisco, she met and fell in love with a man, a freelance writer named Larry Smith. Larry in Orange Is the New Black was not the sort of person Piper expected to fall in love with. He was a man, and not the hip, conventionally attractive kind of man she had been in relationships with before. Their relationship began in a purely platonic way, after they were introduced by mutual friends. After some time as friends, the pair realized that they had a special connection. Larry may not have been a bohemian chic pretty boy of the type that Piper had known in Northampton and in her days with the drug ring, but he was good-hearted, kind, and loved her intensely—and, Piper discovered, this was all she ever wanted.

After some time in San Francisco, Piper and Larry moved to New York City in 1998 to take advantage of job opportunities. They settled in the West Village neighborhood of Manhattan and began what they thought was going to be a quiet and contented life together. Piper and Larry in Orange is the New Black could not have expected Piper’s arrest and what was to come.

Visits from Larry

But there was something to look forward to—Larry’s visit that weekend. Piper could hardly contain her emotion upon seeing him in the visiting room, though the physical contact she could have with him was severely limited by BOP rules. Although it had only been a few days, it already felt like a lifetime since she’d seen him. Piper also noticed children in the visiting area, coming to see their incarcerated mothers. It was a humbling reminder that she was not the only one whose family had been impacted by prison. 

It was not just Larry from Orange Is the New Black who was offering Piper emotional support from the outside. She was struck by the outpouring of sympathy and love from friends and family who sent her books and letters on a near-constant basis. The books did somewhat single her out as a privileged intellectual and outsider among the other inmates, not to mention the fact that many of her fellow prisoners simply lacked the kind of outside social and emotional support systems that Piper had. 

With her release just around the corner, Piper took the time to reflect and take stock of her experience and the wild journey she’d been on. She’d been brought face-to-face with people from backgrounds so different than her own, people with whom she never would have thought she’d have anything in common. Now, she saw how wrong she was. The community of women in prison had saved her. Isolated from everyone and everything she’d loved before, these women—Pop, Yoga Janet, Jae, Pennsatucky, Pom-Pom, Nina, Rosemarie—had made her feel less alone in the world. Their struggle and success in preserving their humanity in the face of a system that sought to crush it was nothing short of heroic. They taught her compassion she never thought herself capable of and revealed strengths she never knew she had.

At last, the day came. On March 4, Piper received her final call to “pack out” (she was released two months early for good behavior, serving 13 months of her 15-month sentence). She had no street clothes to wear after she handed in her prison uniform, so she was given some ill-fitting male clothes. The BOP also gave her $28.30 in cash, what they termed (bizarrely) as a “gratuity.” The COs took her down the service elevator of MCC Chicago. And just like that, she was on the streets in Chicago in broad daylight, a free woman once more.

Larry from Orange Is the New Black was waiting outside to meet her. She sprinted over to him as fast as she could. Piper’s long ordeal was over at last—but she would be forever shaped by her experience and the incredible women with whom she’d shared it.

Larry in Orange Is the New Black: Piper’s Husband

———End of Preview———

Like what you just read? Read the rest of the world's best summary of Piper Kerman's "Orange Is The New Black" at Shortform .

Here's what you'll find in our full Orange Is The New Black summary :

  • The real, more nuanced story behind the hit TV show
  • How upper-class Piper Kerman landed in prison on drug charges
  • The key lessons Kerman learned about society and herself

Carrie Cabral

Carrie has been reading and writing for as long as she can remember, and has always been open to reading anything put in front of her. She wrote her first short story at the age of six, about a lost dog who meets animal friends on his journey home. Surprisingly, it was never picked up by any major publishers, but did spark her passion for books. Carrie worked in book publishing for several years before getting an MFA in Creative Writing. She especially loves literary fiction, historical fiction, and social, cultural, and historical nonfiction that gets into the weeds of daily life.

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