In 1996, Alexander Rumpkin was at the top of his game: he was CEO of America's largest health care organization. His ruthless trampling of people to get there is the story of The Sawdust Pile. Coming of age with two white cousins and a black kid in the segregated South, Alex had none of the tools commonly needed to climb to the top; but he succeeded beyond anyone's wildest dreams because he allowed nothing and no one to block his path.
The Sawdust Pile is a riveting account of boys and the adults they became. Their contradictory relationships are developed with sensitivity and insight-a realistic portrayal of growing up on both sides of the color line in rural Georgia during the forties and fifties. Transitioning to the nineties and modern Atlanta, this story demonstrates with a vengeance that the boys-with all their faults and strengths-were truly "fathers of the men."
A sophisticated critic says:
"This is a fast-paced story of boys becoming men and the lifelong consequences of youthful bonding and conflicts. Elements energizing the characters-competition, survival, domination, love, hatred, loyalty, betrayal, religion, sex, and family-are all in the mix, appearing early in this fascinating world and impacting all that follows.
In a highly unusual first novel, the author delivers a bittersweet, provocative probe into the lives of men and women inhabiting The Sawdust Pile-evoking deep emotions, yet satisfying completely."
Jane Penland Hoover
Founder, Greensboro Writers' Guild