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In the Sanctuary of Outcasts: A Memoir…

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

by Neil White

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3923627,329 (3.76)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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» See also 18 mentions

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Meh? ( )
  Eye_Gee | May 8, 2017 |
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. (from Library Thing)

This was an interesting story about incarceration especially since it takes place in a leper colony. Although the leprosy patients and prisoners are kept separate, White has no difficulty getting to know several of the patients, against all the rules. Given that the prison and the leper colony are in the same location, it is easy to see how lepers have been treated over the years...hidden from society and treated as prisoners in many cases. very informative and easy-to-read.

Haiku summary ( )
  lrobe190 | Dec 29, 2016 |
When an affluent man is sent to a minimum security prison for kiting checks, he does not know that the facility is also home to the last leper colony in the U.S. Initially, he is afraid of the leprosy patients, but during his incarceration, he becomes friends with them. There are also some colorful and well-known inmates. This is an enjoyable memoir capturing an interesting period of Louisiana history. ( )
  poetreegirl | Jun 27, 2016 |
From Booklist
*Starred Review* White was a successful magazine publisher in 1993 when he was convicted of fraud and check kiting and sentenced to prison in Carville, Louisiana. He knew he was facing 18 months without his wife and two young children; he knew his enormous ego and ambition had landed him in prison; he knew he had to figure out a way to save his marriage and somehow rebound financially. What he didn’t know was that the isolated 100-year-old facility at Carville was home to a leper colony of 130 patients. He learned that the patients (some severely disfigured and disabled) and the 250 inmates eyed each other suspiciously across the corridors and breezeway, each thinking the other was the scourge of the earth. Because his work detail brought him into frequent contact with the patients, White developed strong relationships with them. His favorite was Ella, a dignified and beatific elderly black woman, who had lived at Carville for more than 50 years. Among the inmates, White encountered counterfeiters and tax evaders along with drug traffickers and carjackers. When the Bureau of Prisons decided to evict the leprosy patients, tensions built on both sides. White, near the end of his sentence and struggling to come to grips with the consequences of his crime, is caught in the middle. He offers a memoir of personal transformation and a thoroughly engaging look at the social, economic, racial, and other barriers that separate individuals that harden, dissolve, and reconfigure themselves when people are involuntarily thrust together over long periods. --Vanessa Bush ( )
  WayCriminalJustice | Apr 4, 2016 |
White does a terrific job of blending a story of his own time in federal prison with that of the other prisoners he gets to know but most importantly with the victims of leprosy who have called them same facility for years--some of them almost their entire lives. White, a journalist, writes in a conversational way and mixes in generous amounts of humor with stories that are both heartbreaking and uplifting. ( )
  mamashepp | Mar 29, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 37 (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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Book description
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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