Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Tiger’s Wife

Given all the ridiculous hoopla of the last few months pertaining to star golfer Tiger Woods’ marital infidelities, his subsequent disappearance from the spotlight, and then last week’s public apology to his Swedish model wife, Elin Nordegren, I couldn’t help stopping when I came across the cover of this 1951 Gold Medal novel by Wade Miller (aka Robert Allison Bob Wade and H. Bill Miller).

The fabulous jacket illustration of a man chasing a swimming woman was apparently the early work of Clark Hulings, done more than five decades before the U.S. media decided that Woods’ own pursuit of lovely female flesh was fair game for coverage. And author Miller’s 179-page novel really has nothing to do with Woods’ sexual antics. Its plot synopsis reads:
A novel of a soul-devouring woman. Ernest Hemingway, in his famous story, “The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber,” has one of his characters say: “American women are the hardest in the world, the hardest, the cruelest, the most predatory and the most attractive, and their men have softened or gone to pieces nervously as they have hardened.” The Tiger’s Wife is the story of such a man and such a woman, played out to the tempestuous end. It is Wade Miller at his superlative best.
Still, one can hardly look at this paperback front (which was changed, unfortunately, by the third printing) and not be immediately reminded of the golf pro’s woes.