Book Review: In the Sanctuary of Outcasts by Neil Whitecategories: Book, Federal Prison, Leprosy, Outcasts, Sanctuary, Memoir
THE best book I've ever read
by author Bonnie Bartel LatinoI read this book several years ago. I review professionally for a metro-Sunday newspaper, so I read a LOT of books. I normally won't review books I don't love because I'm also an author. Reading is subjective, but there are elements that all good writing has. If those elements are missing, I just stop reading.
With the passing of time, this book has stayed with me, and I find myself telling people it's the best book I've ever read. It is haunting, it is funny, it is chilling in the concept. There is also a story of redemption (and irony) in that Neil White is no longer incarcerated and is working in publishing again in Oxford, MS.
Buy this book--because you will want to revisit it time and time again. The concept of an institution being half-leper colony and half-prision in modern times would be unbelievable--if this were not a memoir! The setting of Carville, LA, adds another dimension--yes, THAT Carville!
How funny was it that the lepers were more afraid of the criminals than the criminals were afraid of the lepers--and the criminals were plenty afraid. If this were fiction it would hillarious. The fact that it's non-fiction makes it totally unforgettable.
I have no connection to Neil White and had never heard of him or his book or the leper colony-prison until I read a review of this book, maybe three years ago. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
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