Truth is stranger than fiction as Table Talk hosts acclaimed author

September 8, 2012 6:27:04 PM



The Friends of the Columbus-Lowndes Public Library continues its September Table Talk series with a presentation by author Neil White, who will speak about and read from his award-winning memoir "In the Sanctuary of Outcasts." 


Published to critical acclaim in 2009, the memoir chronicles the year that White spent in Carville, La., living with the last victims of leprosy in the continental United States. The following year, in 2010, the Southeastern Library Association (SELA), which covers 12 states, named White as the "Outstanding Author of the Year" in its non-fiction category. 


"After reading his memoir, I can understand why White was the runaway SELA winner, said Friends member Jo Shumake. "The premise of the book falls into that 'truth-is-stranger-than-fiction' category. White is sent to prison for fraud, ends up in a leper colony, and his life is forever changed. His story is, by turns, funny, moving, horrific, and finally cathartic." 


White has been a newspaper editor, magazine publisher, advertising executive and federal prisoner. A Gulfport native, he currently lives in Oxford, where he operates a small publishing company, writes plays and essays, and teaches memoir writing. 


White is also the creator and editor of "Mississippians," "Mississippians II," and "Mississippi's Greatest Football Players of All Time." All three collections showcase the wealth of talent and ingenuity found in the Magnolia State. 


"We're excited about hosting this inspiring author at the library and hope that as many people as possible can join us to hear Neil White," added Shumake. 


Table Talks are held at the Columbus-Lowndes Public Library, 314 Seventh St. N. Doors open at 11:30 a.m. for those wishing to bring their lunch and socialize before the program begins at noon. The Friends will serve iced tea. 


For more information on the September Table Talk series, contact the Friends at [email protected]