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Marcia Gaudet, James Carville's Carville: Remembering Leprosy in America PDF

By Marcia Gaudet, James Carville

ISBN-10: 157806693X

ISBN-13: 9781578066933

Mysterious and misunderstood, distorted through biblical imagery of disfigurement and uncleanness, Hansen's illness or leprosy has all yet disappeared from America's attention. In Carville, Louisiana, the closed doorways of the nation's final heart for the remedy of leprosy open to bare tales of disappointment, separation, or even power within the face of what used to be a life-wrenching prognosis.

Drawn from interviews with dwelling sufferers and large examine within the leprosarium's records, Carville: Remembering Leprosy in America tells the tales of former sufferers on the nationwide Hansen's illness heart. For over a century, from 1894 until eventually 1999, Carville used to be the location of the single in-patient health center within the continental usa for the remedy of Hansen's illness, the popular designation for leprosy.

Patients-exiled there by way of legislations for therapy and for separation from the remainder of society-reveal how they have been capable of do something about the devastating blow the analysis of leprosy dealt them. Leprosy used to be so scary and so poorly understood that whole households could endure and be kept away from if one friend shrunk the sickness. while sufferers entered Carville, they often left every little thing in the back of, together with their criminal names and their hopes for the long run.

Former sufferers at Carville supply their perspectives of the surface global and of the tradition they cast in the therapy heart, which incorporated married and person dwelling quarters, a bar, or even a prison. these quarantined within the leprosarium created their very own Mardi Gras celebrations, their very own newspaper, and their very own physique of commemorated tales within which fellow victims of Hansen's disorder prevailed over trauma and ostracism. via their stories and tales, we see their very human quest for identification and patience with dignity, humor, and grace.

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Additional info for Carville: Remembering Leprosy in America

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She said that people were able to build a meaningful life for themselves and to adjust to the reality of their lives in Carville. She said, “We made our own pleasure. . You’d be surprised at how well they do adjust. . ” She later added, “They don’t call it a leper colony any more. It’s time to get away from that. ” Hazel died at Carville in 1985. Rita was twenty years old when she entered Carville in 1927. She said the only person she knew who had the disease (before she came to Carville) was her uncle’s wife.

They [her nieces] came and get me for the funeral, but I didn’t want to go. But my nieces said, “Yes, you’re gonna go. ” They [her sisters] were scared of me, that’s why. But my nieces, when they found out I was here, they came. Their Mama [wife of her brother] treated me better than my own sisters. These two nieces . . Yes, I went to my father’s funeral. The sisters still didn’t even talk to me, but my sister-in-law. . I said when I die, I don’t want none of them to come— (Personal interview 1983) Rita said that her two nieces still visited her at Carville, but their father did not, though he knew where she was.

Much of it is funny” (1992: 46). Through their memory and narratives, we see their very human quest for identity and their survival with dignity and grace. Exile in My { 2 } “An Own Country” THE UNSPEAKABLE TRAUMA OF ENTERING CARVILLE At ten o’clock on that Sunday morning, March 1, 1931, I became an exile in my own country. —Stanley Stein Alone No Longer A diagnosis of leprosy was inevitably traumatic. Such a diagnosis was usually totally unexpected as well. Even when the diagnosis was not a complete surprise (because of the knowledge that other family members had the disease), it was still devastating.

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Carville: Remembering Leprosy in America by Marcia Gaudet, James Carville


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