In the Sanctuary of Outcasts: A Memoir

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9780061351600: In the Sanctuary of Outcasts: A Memoir

"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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Review:

"Vibrant and readable." -- Harper's Magazine

Vibrant and readable. --Harper's Magazine

"A moving story of growth and transformation. Among the lost, [White] found humility, beauty, courage--and himself. "--Dallas Morning News

"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."--Memphis Flyer

"An earnest chronicle written with equal parts enlightenment and atonement."--Kirkus Reviews

"White's memoir continues to surprise as it presents a witty, well-rendered narrative of redemption and enlightenment. Readers who enjoy clever, off-beat memoirs will devour this in one sitting."--Library Journal

"An impressively detailed and unsentimental memoir...funny and straightforward."--Memphis Commercial Appeal

"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."--John Grisham

"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."--The Mississippi Episcopalian

"Vibrant and readable."--Harper's Magazine

"This memoir represents an atonement persuasively made in an unlikely setting by an accomplished and engaging writer. "--Richmond Times-Dispatch

"White wastes no time getting to the hurt, and once he takes you there, you'll be riveted. A searing tale of trouble, it's also about finding a time and a place in which to lay the groundwork for a new life. A fine memoir and one I highly recommend."--Steve Yarbrough, James and Coke Hallowell Professor of Creative Writing Coordinator of the MFA Program English Department California State University

"A surprisingly gentle, sometimes hilarious memoir."--USA Today

"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."--Publishers Weekly

"[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."--Booklist (starred review)

"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."--Pulitzer Prize-winner Robert Olen Butler

A surprisingly gentle, sometimes hilarious memoir. --USA Today"

Vibrant and readable. --Harper's Magazine"

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. --John Grisham"

Neil White in his luminous memoir IN THE SANCTUARY OF OUTCASTS explicates his own path to redemption. White brings to life a wacky bunch of characters who help him remember what is best about himself. His story is unique and deeply felt: I enjoyed this book immensely! --Darcey Steinke author of "Easter Everywhere" and "Milk""

[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. --Booklist (starred review)"

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. --Publishers Weekly"

White s memoir continues to surprise as it presents a witty, well-rendered narrative of redemption and enlightenment. Readers who enjoy clever, off-beat memoirs will devour this in one sitting. --Library Journal"

An impressively detailed and unsentimental memoir...funny and straightforward. --Memphis Commercial Appeal"

An earnest chronicle written with equal parts enlightenment and atonement. --Kirkus Reviews"

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. --Memphis Flyer"

This memoir represents an atonement persuasively made in an unlikely setting by an accomplished and engaging writer. --Richmond Times-Dispatch"

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. --Lee Gutkind, Editor, "Creative Nonfiction" magazine and author, "Almost Human: Making Robots Think""

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. --The Mississippi Episcopalian"

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. --Pulitzer Prize-winner Robert Olen Butler"

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. --Tom Franklin, author of "Smonk""

White wastes no time getting to the hurt, and once he takes you there, you ll be riveted. A searing tale of trouble, it s also about finding a time and a place in which to lay the groundwork for a new life. A fine memoir and one I highly recommend. --Steve Yarbrough, James and Coke Hallowell Professor of Creative Writing Coordinator of the MFA Program English Department California State University"

A moving story of growth and transformation. Among the lost, [White] found humility, beauty, courage and himself. --Dallas Morning News"

A wonderfully bizarre and entertaining memoir of jailhouse redemption by turns hilarious, astonishing, and, when all is said and done, deeply moving. --John Berendt, author of "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil""

"A wonderfully bizarre and entertaining memoir of jailhouse redemption--by turns hilarious, astonishing, and, when all is said and done, deeply moving."--John Berendt, author of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil

"Neil White in his luminous memoir IN THE SANCTUARY OF OUTCASTS explicates his own path to redemption. White brings to life a wacky bunch of characters who help him remember what is best about himself. His story is unique and deeply felt: I enjoyed this book immensely!"--Darcey Steinke author of Easter Everywhere and Milk

"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."--Lee Gutkind, Editor, Creative Nonfiction magazine and author, Almost Human: Making Robots Think

IN THE SANCTUARY OF OUTCASTS was a rare treat for me as I not only learned about this extraordinary place, only whispered about when I was a child, but, even better, was reminded again of what really matters in this life."--Robert Hicks, author of The Widow of the South

"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."--Tom Franklin, author of Smonk

From the Back Cover:

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.

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