Welcome to Arkansas State University!

News Article

Dr. Ruth Hawkins to discuss her book on Pfeiffer-Hemingway marriage, Aug. 28


JONESBORO — Dr. Ruth Hawkins, executive director of Arkansas Heritage Sites at Arkansas State University, will discuss her new book, ‘Unbelievable Happiness and Final Sorrow,” at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 28, at the Cooper Alumni Center, followed by a book signing until 5:30 p.m.

The presentation is sponsored by the Heritage Studies Ph.D. Program and the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at Arkansas State University. 

Hawkins’ book paints a full picture of the essential role played in Ernest Hemingway’s career by his second wife, Pauline Pfeiffer Hemingway, and Pfeiffer family members in Piggott, Arkansas, and New York.  Pauline was her husband’s best editor and critic, and her wealthy family provided moral and financial support, including conversion of an old barn to a dedicated writing studio at the family home in Piggott and funds for the Hemingways’ Key West home and world travel. 

The Hemingway-Pfeiffer marriage lasted 13 years, some of Hemingway’s most productive, and the couple had two children.  But their “unbelievable happiness” met with “final sorrow,” as Hemingway wrote, and Pauline would be the second of Hemingway’s four wives.

As director of the Arkansas Heritage Sites program, Hawkins has responsibility for development of the Hemingway-Pfeiffer Museum and Educational Center at Piggott, as well as the Southern Tenant Farmers Museum at Tyronza, the Lakeport Plantation near Lake Village, and the Historic Dyess Colony:  Boyhood Home of Johnny Cash.  She also is executive director of Arkansas Delta Byways, Inc., a tourism promotion association that serves 15 counties in Eastern Arkansas and includes two National Scenic Byways.  The heritage sites, as well as Arkansas Delta Byways communities, serve as field laboratories for the Heritage Studies Ph.D. Program. 

Proceeds from Hawkins’ book go to support educational programs at the Hemingway-Pfeiffer Museum and Educational Center.

Cooper Alumni Center is located at 2600 Alumni Blvd. on the ASU campus.