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In the Sanctuary of Outcasts: A Memoir…

In the Sanctuary of Outcasts: A Memoir (P.S.)

by Neil White (Author)

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3382932,536 (3.74)18
  1. 10
    Moloka'i by Alan Brennert (JGoto)
    JGoto: This is a carefully researched and beautifully written fictional account set in the leper colony on the Hawaiian island of Molokai.
  2. 00
    The Island by Victoria Hislop (jewelryladypam)

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It was ok, but not quite what I expected or wanted it to be. It's a memoir of the author's one year prison stint at Carville. Carville is the United States leprosarium which, because of dwindeling patient numbers, is also used as a prison. The book is mainly about the author's change in attitude to life, whereas I would have liked to hear more about the stories of the patients. ( )
  SabinaE | Jan 23, 2016 |
Sale book on Kindle. This was interesting. The author was sentenced to prison for check kiting, in Louisiana, and they decided to send prisoners to Carville. They don't seem to have thought it through very well. One idea was to let the residents stay, but section off part of the complex as a prison for non-violent minimum-security prisoners. Another idea was to find a way to move the residents. At the beginning of his term the author was able to talk to the residents & learn their stories. Over time there were some security issues and the inmates and residents were kept apart. The story only goes as deep as the author can go.
  franoscar | Oct 1, 2014 |
This is a story of a normal man who intended success to be his. In attempting to maintain that success, he used deception in his business, but was caught. Sentenced to time in a minimum security facility -- which also was home to a small group of people suffering from leprosy -- the writer finds that their friendship caused him to reflect on his own circumstances. ( )
  MikeBiever | Aug 28, 2014 |
This was a well written non fiction book about a unique situation. The author Neil White, was convicted of bank fraud-kiting checks- and sentence to 18 months in prison. He serves a year-with good behavior- at a unique prison in Louisiana, that houses non violent offenders, as well as Leprosy patients. The history of the institution named Carville ( as in James Carville's family) and the patients that occupy it was fascinating. The prisoners who are also housed there, were an interesting mix as well, from Jimmy Hoffa's lawyer to a body building medical expert. The author is rather pretentious when he arrives there and unfortunately remains that way for much of his sentence, but through the help of one of the leprosy patients named Ella, begins to see what is really important for him to focus on when he is released from prison. The story is a little sappy, and I am not sure I believe the author really changed his way but the book was still very good. ( )
  zmagic69 | Jun 17, 2014 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
When I was younger, I read Betty Martin's memoir Miracle at Carville, about life in a leprosy treatment facility in Louisiana (yes, that's the same family as politico James). I think I also read the sequel No One Must Ever Know. Betty Martin is a pseudonym; leprosy had such a stigma that patients used other names, and were often buried with aliases or numbers. Even the word leprosy has its own alternate name: Hansen's disease.

In later years, Carville shared its site with a federal prison. Magazine publisher Neil White was convicted of white-collar crime and sent there in 1993. When I started reading this book about his incarceration, images of sleepy, old, Southern, dignified grounds and buildings that I'd conjured up while reading Martin's books came back. The prison part of his story wasn't especially compelling, but the interaction with the leprosy patients was. I was most grabbed by the story of Ella, an elderly patient who was dropped off at Carville as a child and never saw her family again. Leprosy had quite a stigma. Yet she tooled around in her antique wheelchair, always upbeat, wise and giving.

After release, White managed to rebuild his life in Mississippi and published this book in 2009. I'm not sure I'd want to do business with him (ex-con has more of a stigma to me than leprosy), but I was intrigued by this glimpse into a vanishing world. Carville now houses a museum and camp for at-risk youth. The treatment center has been phased out and only a handful of patients remain.

(Book was requested from LT Early Reviewers, but never arrived. I obtained a Nook copy.) ( )
  ennie | Feb 28, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 30 (next | show all)
His tale of self-discovery is neither engrossing nor revelatory, but he offers a rare glimpse into this world of “secret people,” men and women with hands “shaped like mittens” and “discolored faces” who have lived for decades in exile... Upon sentencing White, the judge said, “Neil, I hope you can make something good come out of this.” His book, however flawed, accomplishes that.
The writing becomes somewhat cursory as the narrative progresses. And though this is a story of redemption, you can't tell quite how deep White's personal changes go. Still, this book offers an important glimpse into a dark and receding corner of our medical and penal history, as well as a fascinating personal story
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He dwelt in an isolated house, because he was a leper. -- 2 Chronicles
To little Neil and Maggie.
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Daddy is going to camp.
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The author reflects on the years he spent incarcerated for bank fraud in a Louisiana prison that also doubled as a colony for leprosy patients and discusses events in his personal and professional life before and after his sentence.
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White tells his emotional, incredible true story of crime and redemption, vanity and spirituality, as he discovers happiness and fulfillment in an unlikely place--imprisonment in The Long Center, the last leper colony in the U.S. Includes P.S. insights, interviews & more...… (more)

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