Publication Date: 2009
Challenges: Support Your Local Library Challenge #32
Neil White was a journalist and magazine publisher who let his desire to appear successful in order to be successful cause his downfall. Sentenced to 18 months in prison for check kiting, he found himself at a minimum security prison in Carville. Louisiana. What he didn’t know until after he arrived was that the Carville facility was also a medical center for patients with Hansen’s Disease (leprosy). This unique facility housed both prisoners who were outcasts due to their deeds and people who had lived there for decades as outcasts due to their disease.
White’s memoir is told in a rather conversational style that makes for easy and quick reading. He intersperses his story of his time at Carville with his own history that led to his incarceration as well as the history of the facility and many of the patients he met while there. There are touching and tragic stories and even many humorous tales of both patients and inmates. Obviously it’s a memoir, so the focus is on White, but the additional stories of other people are interesting, although not fully explored.
At the beginning of what turned out to be a year of incarceration White definitely comes across as a bit arrogant and not really sorry for what he’s done. His change in attitude about both himself and others makes for an interesting and entertaining read.
I thought it was good and am planning to renew this or get it again from the library so The Hubster can read it.