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Books  >>  Biography

Neil White

In the Sanctuary of Outcasts

Neil White In The Sanctuary Of Outcasts
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P.S.

Main description:

Daddy is going to camp. That's what I told my children. But it wasn't camp. . . .

Neil White wanted only the best for those he loved and was willing to go to any lengths to provide it—which is how he ended up in a federal prison in rural Louisiana, serving eighteen months for bank fraud. But it was no ordinary prison. The beautiful, isolated colony in Carville, Louisiana, was also home to the last people in the continental United States disfigured by leprosy—a small circle of outcasts who had forged a tenacious, clandestine community, a fortress to repel the cruelty of the outside world. In this place rich with history, amid an unlikely mix of leprosy patients, nuns, and criminals, White's strange and compelling new life journey began.

An extraordinary memoir at once funny, poignant, and uplifting, In the Sanctuary of Outcasts reminds us all what matters most.

Review quote:

“[Neil White] 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.”

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“A meaningful look at the trajectory of one man’s life and his chance to change its direction. Worth reading and discussing...a particularly intriguing choice for reading groups.”

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“A moving story of growth and transformation. Among the lost, [White] found humility, beauty, courage—and himself. ”

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“A remarkable story of a young man’s loss of everything he deemed important, his imprisonment in a place that would terrify anyone, and his ultimate discovery that redemption can be taught by society’s most dreaded outcasts.”

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“A surprisingly gentle, sometimes hilarious memoir.”

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“A wonderfully bizarre and entertaining memoir of jailhouse redemption—by turns hilarious, astonishing, and, when all is said and done, deeply moving.”

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“An earnest chronicle written with equal parts enlightenment and atonement.”

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“An impressively detailed and unsentimental memoir...funny and straightforward.”

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“At once surreal and grittily naturalistic, funny and poignant, White’s tale is fascinating and full of universal resonance. And, not incidentally, White is a splendid writer, adept at both creating a scene and illuminating the human heart. This is a book that will endure.”

Review quote:

“Brisk, ironic and perceptive, White’s introspective memoir puts a magnifying glass to a flawed life, revealing that all of life is to be savored and respected.”

Review quote:

“IN THE SANCTUARY OF OUTCASTS is more than a memoir. It’s most importantly a testament to the patients at Carville and the life lessons they gave and White took.”

Review quote:

“Leprosy and white collar crime in one dynamic book? Neil White, a writer with a multiple mission, knits two fascinating and unfortunate stories into one powerful narrative that is informative, heart-breaking and highly compelling. White writes with clarity, sensitivity and unforgettable passion.”

Review quote:

“Narrated in an engaging, affable voice with self-deprecating humor, IN THE SANCTUARY OF OUTCASTS is a great American story of personal transformation that leaves White -- and ourselves -- forever changed.”

Review quote:

“Neil White in his luminous memoir IN THE SANCTUARY OF OUTCASTS explicates his own path to redem

"A remarkable story of a young man's loss of everything he deemed important, and his ultimate discovery that redemption can be taught by society's most dreaded outcasts." —John Grisham

"Hilarious, astonishing, and deeply moving." —John Berendt, author of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil

The emotional, incredible true story of Neil White, a man who discovers the secret to happiness, leading a fulfilling life, and the importance of fatherhood in the most unlikely of places—the last leper colony in the continental United States. In the words of Pulitzer Prize winner Robert Olen Butler (A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain), White is “a splendid writer,” and In the Sanctuary of Outcasts “a book that will endure.”


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