In the Sanctuary of Outcasts by Neil White
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I was fascinated by this book. Neil White, a successful magazine publisher, was convicted of bank fraud for kiting checks. He was sentenced to 18 months in a Federal Penitentiary in Louisiana. The penitentiary was also a leprosarium where a number of patients resided, many of them for most of their lives.
As Neil comes to know the patients and inmates, he learns a great deal about himself and the philosophy of life which caused his downfall. The interactions with the patients, their stories and their reactions to the life sentence their disease gave them helped him to see himself as he truly was.
The book was very interesting, especially the part about the leprosarium. It is unbelievable that people were taken from their families and sent to places like Carville without any concern for their human rights. I thought that this was a practice from the middle ages rather than a policy in the United States. Despite of their treatment, many of the patients became mentors to Neil and each other. I would like to have known more about their lives.
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