None but the Living
Kenneth P. Smith
Middleton House Publishing
Like his tenant father before him, Ezra Burke, had struggled to make a go of farming the poor rocky soil deep in his beloved Blue Ridge Mountains. With crops destroyed by a storm and hopelessly in debt, he is forced off the farm and into the employ of the wicked and cunning Mr. Tanner. When further tragedy ensues, Ezra still a young man, hears of work in the mill town of Corinth (South Carolina?)-the cotton mills there are hiring. With his wife, Judith, half Cherokee and who alone bears the burden of a dark and terrible secret, and two small children Ezra seek a new life in a Corinth mill village. As the dream of ever returning to the mountains slowly but inevitability fades, he becomes enmeshed in the daily grind of work, family, and mill politics until that fateful summer day when union organizers and the owners collide. Set against the backdrop of a recovering South still showing many of the scars of Reconstruction, now stifled by the Great Depression, simmering but still unspoken racial tensions, and unscrupulous mill owners, None but the Living explores the migration of rural people to the cities, the politics of greed and social power, and the prevailing myth of the happy and contented Southern textile worker in the period between the World Wars. It is the saga of the Burke family.
Born: Greenville, SC; Education: Clemson University (BA); University of South Carolina School of Medicine. Married, with two grown children. Currently live in Greenville, SC with wife, Mary. Veteran: USMC. Previous occupations: roofer, ditch digger, forklift operator, special ed teacher, textile worker, salesman, pizza cook, seal hunter, business executive. Currently, a psychotherapist, dividing my time between my private practice and fiction writing. Have had poetry published in regional quarterlies. None but the Living is my first novel.Hobby: wilderness hiking.