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Dr. Ruth Hawkins to embark on signing and reading tour for book on Hemingway-Pfeiffer marriage


JONESBORO —Dr. Ruth Hawkins, executive director of Arkansas State University’s Arkansas Heritage Sites program and the author of a new book entitled “Unbelievable Happiness and Final Sorrow, will embark on a book signing and reading tour beginning Thursday, June 7, at the Hemingway-Pfeiffer Museum and Education Center, 1021 West Cherry Street, Piggott, Ark., from 3-5 p.m.

The Hemingway Barn-Studio in Piggott event kicks off a seven-city excursion. Dr. Hawkins’ book paints a full picture of the essential role in Ernest Hemingway’s career played by Piggott’s Pfeiffer family, especially Pauline Pfeiffer, Ernest’s second wife.

It was the glittering intellectual world of 1920s Paris expatriates in which Pauline Pfeiffer, a writer for Vogue, met Ernest Hemingway and his wife, Hadley, among a circle of friends that included Gertrude Stein, F. Scott Fitzgerald, John Dos Passos, and Dorothy Parker.  Pauline grew close to Hadley but eventually forged a stronger bond with Hemingway himself. With her stylish looks and dedication to Hemingway’s writing, Pauline became the source of “unbelievable happiness” for Hemingway and, in 1927, his second wife.

Pauline was her husband’s best editor and critic, and her wealthy family provided moral and financial support, including the conversion of an old barn to a dedicated writing studio at the family home in Piggott.  The marriage lasted thirteen years, some of Hemingway’s most productive, and the couple had two children.  But the 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 at ASU, Dr. Hawkins has the  responsibility for development of the Hemingway-Pfeiffer Museum and Educational Center at Piggott, 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 serving 15 counties in Eastern Arkansas. The association manages and promotes two National Scenic Byways in the region:  the Crowley’s Ridge Parkway and the Arkansas segment of The Great River Road. 

She is vice president of the Arkansas History Commission, a state advisor to the National Trust for Historic Preservation, a technical advisor to the Mississippi River Parkway Commission of Arkansas, vice president of the Mississippi River Trail, Inc., and a member of the International Women’s Forum Arkansas.

Dr. Hawkins was inducted into the Arkansas Tourism Hall of Fame in 2011. She received a 2008 National Preservation Honors Award for her work at Arkansas State University, and her programs received the 2008 Diamond Award through the Arkansas Historical Association.  She was named 2007 Preservation Educator by the Historic Preservation Alliance of Arkansas and 2005 Tourism Person of the year through the Arkansas Governor’s Conference on Tourism.

Dr. Hawkins will present the first reading of this exciting new chronicle of a prominent Delta family’s influence on a major American author at 3 p.m. in the Hemingway Barn-Studio and will be available to sign books until 5 p.m.  Those wishing to reserve an advanced copy of the book may contact the museum at 870-598-3487.

Tours for the Hemingway-Pfeiffer Museum and Educational Center are on the hour Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.


Dr. Ruth A. Hawkins’ Scheduled Book Signings

“Unbelievable Happiness and Final Sorrow:  The  Hemingway-Pfeiffer Marriage”

June 7, 2012
Hemingway-Pfeiffer Museum and Education Center
1021 West Cherry Street
Piggott, AR, 3:00-5:00 p.m.

June 21, 2012
McLean & Eakin Booksellers
307 E. Lake Street
Petoskey, MI, 1:00-3:00 p.m.

July 11, 2012
Butler Center Legacies and Lunch
Darragh Center, Main Library
Little Rock, AR, 12:00-1:00 p.m.

July 17, 2012
The Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum
907 Whitehead Street
Key West, FL. 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.

August 28, 2012
Arkansas State University
Cooper Alumni Center Lobby
Jonesboro, AR 3:30-5:30 p.m.

September 9, 2012
That Bookstore in Blytheville
316 West Main Street
Blytheville, AR, 2:00-3:00 p.m.

September 17, 2012
Cedar Falls Woman’s Club
304 Clay Street
Cedar Falls, IA, 10:00 a.m.

Western Home Communities Chapel
420 E. 11th Street
Cedar Falls, IA, 1:00 p.m.

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