Summer Reading Book Information

The 2014 Summer Reading as Inquiry book selection is In the Sanctuary of Outcasts by Neil White.

Neil White, a journalist and magazine publisher, wanted the best for those he loved—nice cars, beautiful homes, luxurious clothing. He loaned money to family and friends, gave generously to his church, and invested in his community—but his bank account couldn’t keep up. Soon Neil began moving money from one account to another to avoid bouncing checks. His world fell apart when the FBI discovered his scheme and a judge sentenced him to eighteen months in federal prison.

But it was no ordinary prison. The isolated, beautiful colony in Carville, Louisiana was also home to the last people in the continental United States disfigured by leprosy. Hidden away for decades, this small circle of outcasts forged a tenacious, clandestine community, a fortress to repel the cruelty of the outside world. It is here, in a place rich with history, where the Mississippi River briefly runs north, amidst an unlikely mix of leprosy patients, nuns, and criminals, that Neil’s strange and compelling journey begins. He finds a new best friend in Ella Bounds, an eighty-year-old, African-American, double-amputee who had contracted leprosy as a child. She and the other secret people, along with a wacky troop of inmates, help Neil re-discover the value of simplicity, friendship and gratitude.

Funny and poignant, In the Sanctuary of Outcasts is an uplifting memoir that reminds us all what matters most.

Purchase this year’s book online and have it mailed to you from the Michigan Tech Bookstore, or buy it from your favorite local or online bookseller.