In the Sanctuary of Outcasts

Front Cover
HarperCollins, Jun 2, 2009 - Biography & Autobiography - 352 pages
72 Reviews

Daddy is going to camp. That's what I told my children. A child psychologist suggested it. “Words like prison and jail conjure up dangerous images for children,” she explained. But it wasn't camp . . .

Neil White, a journalist and magazine publisher, wanted the best for those he loved—nice cars, beautiful homes, luxurious clothes. He loaned money to family and friends, gave generously to his church, and invested in his community—but his bank account couldn't keep up. Soon White began moving money from one account to another to avoid bouncing checks. His world fell apart when the FBI discovered his scheme and a judge sentenced him to serve eighteen months in a federal prison.

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. Hidden away for decades, this small circle of outcasts had forged a tenacious, clandestine community, a fortress to repel the cruelty of the outside world. It is here, in a place rich with history, where the Mississippi River briefly runs north, amid an unlikely mix of leprosy patients, nuns, and criminals, that White's strange and compelling journey begins. He finds a new best friend in Ella Bounds, an eighty-year-old African American double amputee who had contracted leprosy as a child. She and the other secret people, along with a wacky troop of inmates, help White rediscover the value of simplicity, friendship, and gratitude.

Funny and poignant, In the Sanctuary of Outcasts is an uplifting memoir that reminds us all what matters most.

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Review: In the Sanctuary of Outcasts: A Memoir

User Review  - Melinda - Goodreads

The most interesting thing about this memoir is the history of the Carville colony and its residents. White's story is not that interesting. In fact, this would have been a better book had it been ... Read full review

Review: In the Sanctuary of Outcasts

User Review  - Bonnie - Goodreads

This is the most unusual memoir I've ever read. Its facts appear to check out; otherwise I would swear it is very creative fiction. A relatively well-off white man wants more than he earns, gets ... Read full review

About the author (2009)

Neil White is the former publisher of New Orleans Magazine, Coast magazine, and Coast Business Journal. He lives in Oxford, Mississippi, where he owns a small publishing company. This is his first book.

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