Neil White October 22, 2010: Neil White—former newspaper editor, magazine publisher, advertising executive, and federal prisoner—will read at Belhaven University on Thursday, October 28th, noon to 1 p.m., in the Student Center Theater. Neil, who was convicted of bank fraud and check kiting in 1993, will read from his memoir, In the Sanctuary of Outcasts (Morrow/HarperCollins, 2009), about the year he spent in federal prison in Carville, LA—a prison that also served as the last leper colony in the continental United States.

"In the Sanctuary of the Outcasts is a beautifully written memoir about a painfully lived experience," says Dr. Randy Smith, Chair of the Creative Writing Department. "We should all be grateful to Neil White for sharing that experience with us." According to promotional materials about the memoir: “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.”

Neil also will talk about his new coffee-table book, Mississippians, which features 300 of the most famous and notable people from Mississippi. The Belhaven University Creative Writing and Theatre Departments have a special connection to Mississippians given that two of our faculty—Howard Bahr, Adjunct Professor of Creative Writing, and John Maxwell, Assistant Professor of Theater—are included in the book.