Published on October 12th, 2015 | by TLV News


October 15: Clarksdale’s “Community Book Talks” Lecture Series Features Neil White


Clarksdale, Mississippi — On Thursday, October 15th, the 2015 Community Book Talks lecture series presents acclaimed author Neil White on the Grand Lawn of the Cutrer Mansion, 109 Clark Street in Clarksdale, Mississippi.

unnamed“Community Book Talks loves a good story, and Neil White’s is among the best,” said Sarah Crisler-Ruskey, director of Carnegie Public Library. “His is one of loss, redemption and the creative spirit.”

Born in Gulfport, Mississippi, in 1960, White’s road to writing has taken many a left turn and even hit the occasional dead end. His life’s journey has built a truly unusual his resumé that includes playwright, newspaper editor, magazine publisher, advertising executive and federal prisoner.

In the early 1990s, White was by all accounts a successful magazine publisher — until he was convicted of bank fraud (check kiting) and sentenced to federal prison in Louisiana. His unexpected 18-month detour ultimately provided him with the material for his unforgettable memoir, In the Sanctuary of Outcasts.

neilwhiteIt just so happened that White was sent to a prison with quite an interesting past, and the inmates to prove it. In addition to housing minimum-security prisoners like White, it also housed in the last leper colony in mainland America.

As always, the Community Book Talks reception begins at 5 pm and includes complimentary hors d’oeuvres. The talk starts at 5:30 pm on the Grand Lawn of the Cutrer Mansion. (The Carnegie Public Library at 114 Delta Avenue is the back-up location in case of rain.) More information at

“It’s been another wonderful season of author lectures,” said Jen Waller, director of CCHEC. “We really appreciate everyone’s attendance and support.”

Clarksdale’s Community Book Talks lecture series is made possible in part by a grant from the Community Foundation of Northwest MS as well as Merit Health Northwest Mississippi and many generous local supporters. Anyone interested in sponsoring the series should contact Sarah Crisler-Ruskey at (662) 624-4461;


Reviews of In the Sanctuary of Outcasts:
“A remarkable story of a young man’s loss of everything he deemed important, and his ultimate discovery that redemption can be taught by society’s most dreaded outcasts.” — John Grisham
“Hilarious, astonishing, and deeply moving.” — John Berendt, author of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil
“A surprisingly gentle, sometimes hilarious memoir.” — USA Today
“A moving story of growth and transformation. Among the lost, [White] found humility, beauty, courage—and himself. ” — Dallas Morning News
“Brisk, ironic and perceptive, White’s introspective memoir puts a magnifying glass to a flawed life, revealing that all of life is to be savored and respected.” — Publishers Weekly
“Leprosy and white collar crime in one dynamic book? Neil White, a writer with a multiple mission, knits two fascinating and unfortunate stories into one powerful narrative that is informative, heart-breaking and highly compelling. — Lee Gutkind, Editor, Creative Nonfiction magazine



ClarksdaleCarnegieLibraryThe purpose of the Carnegie Public Library is to provide opportunities for information, education, culture, and recreation through books, computers, videos, and other materials as well as offer library services, to the people of Clarksdale and Coahoma County. Service is available to all citizens of Coahoma County through tax support from the City of Clarksdale and the County Board of Supervisors.

The Coahoma County Higher Education Center (CCHEC) is a partnership between Delta State University (DSU) and Coahoma Community College (CCC). It was designed to enhance the outreach capabilities of both institutions. The partnership between DSU and CCC encourages regional growth and development by expanding educational opportunities for the people of Coahoma County, and the surrounding counties, and by targeting high needs in the North Mississippi Delta region.  The Local Voice Ligature


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About the Author

The Local Voice is a bimonthly entertainment guide and newspaper based in Oxford, Mississippi, covering and distributed in North Central Mississippi, including Oxford, Ole Miss, Taylor, Abbeville, Water Valley, Lafayette County, Yalobusha County, and parts of Panola County, Marshall County, and Tupelo . The Local Voice is distributed free to over 255 locations in North Mississippi and also available as a full color PDF download worldwide on the internet.

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