Journalist and magazine editor Darla Worden’s book covers Nobel Prize winner Ernest Hemingway, arguably the most influential American writer of his generation, and his time in Wyoming with his second wife Pauline Pfeiffer. This is a stirring story that not only highlights an aspect of the famous novelist’s private life, but acts as travelogue through parts of the West.
Ernest and Pauline were married in 1927, shortly after he divorced his first wife, and the couple were together for more than ten years. They met in Paris. She was a journalist with Vogue Magazine and Ernest was writing books. He quickly recognized Pauline’s editing skills and she began working on his manuscripts with him. Not long after their first child together was born, Ernest traveled to Wyoming on a fishing trip. Pauline was recuperating at her parent’s home in Arkansas, dreaming of the day she would join her husband out West. The pair eventually reunited in Sheridan and begin a series of adventures that take them through such scenic locations as the Bighorn Mountains and the Grand Teton National Park. The couple would spend six summers in Wyoming visiting and drinking with friends at various dude ranches and hunting bears and prairie chickens. In between those journeys, Ernest wrote, and Pauline was contented just being with him.
Cockeyed Happy is a moving and somewhat troubling tale about a woman devoted to a brilliant, but restless man who would eventually leave her for another woman.