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Amanda Skenandore - Carville Leprosarium
Episode 814th April 2023 • Who I Met Today • Pamela Lamp
00:00:00 00:24:09

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The Second Life of Mirielle West, a historical fiction novel, revolves around the Carville Leprosarium. From 1894-2005, the law required all leprosy patients in the United States to be quarantined in this rural Louisiana hospital community. I loved the book and its fascinating history. And so, I reached out to Amanda Skenandore, the author and an infection prevention nurse, to learn more.

In this episode, Amanda and I discuss the history of the Carville National Leprosarium, life inside this isolated community, and how patients grappled with the disease and the stigma. Amanda explains the steps residents took to connect and create meaningful lives. We talk about what the medical community has learned about leprosy—now called Hansen's Disease—and how it is treated today. Amanda discusses her research, the Carville cemetery, leprosarium fake names, her novels, and her calming one new thing.

The National Hansen's Disease Museum is located between New Orleans and Baton Rouge. For travelers to the area, Amanda suggests a visit!

After Amanda came across Marcia Gaudet's book, Carville: Remembering Leprosy in America, her creative storytelling juices began to flow.

Books by Amanda Skenandore

The Nurse's Secret

The Second Life of Mirielle West

The Undertaker's Assistant

Between Earth and Sky

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