In the Sanctuary of Outcasts
Mar 2, 2011
Author: Neil White
Publisher: Harper Perrenial
Publication Date: Hardback 2009,
Paperback June 2010
This is a very moving, and yes, inspiring, book about human nature.
A true story, Neil White made some bad choices in life and ended up in low security prison for bank fraud. He was sent to Louisiana, to Carville Prison. He was to be interred there for 18 or so months and thought he could handle this punishment easily.
Until he noticed that Carville seemed a little "off". There seemed to be a lot of older folks wandering around loose, perhaps not convicts like himself? Additionally, they all appeared to have a lot of injuries or missing limbs.
Imagine Neil's shock, and yes horror, to find out that his low security prison shared rent with the last remaining Leper colony in the United States! When assigned to the kitchen where he had to work around the patients all day he pretty much just waited for leprosy to jump onto his body.
But as time went by and he learned more about not only his fellow inmates (a few incredibly eccentric) but the poor patients who had been basically kidnapped out of their homes and placed in this isolated community the minute their condition was discovered - some had been there for 60 years.
This is a year in Neil's life where he learns about life, living and compassion. A growing year.
A great book filled with humor - many a time I found myself laughing out loud. The Dew highly recommends it.
Go HERE to get an inside glimpse of the book.
Video courtesy of Hoover Public Library Southern Voices Conference 2011