Strange Tribe by John Hemingway
A Family Memoir

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Strange Tribe makes for compelling reading.
-Project MUSE


Strange Tribe is a fascinating memoir revealing the peculiar family dynamics between Ernest Hemingway and his youngest son Gregory. Gregory, the author’s father, tried to live up to Ernest’s “macho” reputation throughout his life. But as a cross-dresser and (eventually) a transsexual, Gregory was obsessed with androgyny and his "female half,” and he struggled with personal demons up until his death in the Women's Correctional Facility of the Miami Dade County Jail in 2001. In this wonderfully crafted narrative, John reveals how Ernest and Gregory (who both suffered from bipolar illness and were both fascinated by androgyny) were “two sides of the same coin.” Featuring several unpublished correspondences between Ernest and Gregory, Strange Tribe is the story of these two men and the surprising similarities between the two.

This is also John's story--about what it was like growing up in Miami and Montana with his father and his schizophrenic mother, and of how it took him years to deal with the pain their illnesses caused him. He also shows how the persona of Ernest Hemingway, the most important literary icon of the past 100 years, continues to loom darkly over the often-troubled lives of his descendants.

About John Hemingway

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John Hemingway is a writer and translator who lives with his wife, Ornella, and their two children, Michael and Jacqueline, just outside of Milan in Italy.
Published May 1, 2007 by Lyons Press. 224 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for Strange Tribe
All: 5 | Positive: 5 | Negative: 0


Above average

John’s honesty is bracing as he tries hard for understanding and acceptance, but the Hemingway legacy remains as complicated as ever.

Read Full Review of Strange Tribe: A Family Memoir | See more reviews from Kirkus

Publishers Weekly

on Mar 05 2007

John Hemingway writes honestly and is a sympathetic scrutinizer of this complicated and famous man.

Read Full Review of Strange Tribe: A Family Memoir | See more reviews from Publishers Weekly

Project MUSE


Strange Tribe makes for compelling reading.

Read Full Review of Strange Tribe: A Family Memoir

Gather Books

Reviewed by Henry Berry on Oct 04 2007

Undoubtedly, the memoir was purgative in some respects for him. But he wrote it as much to present his unique contribution on the Hemingway legend and its reverberations in succeeding generations of his family.

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Curled Up

Reviewed by Deborah Straw on Jan 01 2008

For serious Hemingway scholars, this book may provide few new secrets. But for the Ernest Hemingway reader, especially one studying his work after a hiatus and re-appreciating the man’s genius, this book is sure to shock, fascinate, and engage.

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Gisselli Rodriguez

Gisselli Rodriguez 5 Sep 2013

Added the book to want to read list