Strange Tribe: A Family Memoir

John Hemingway, Author . Lyons $24.95 (219p) ISBN 978-1-59921-112-1

The author, grandson of Nobel Prize winner Ernest Hemingway, and son of his youngest child, Gregory, investigates the similarities between these two paternal figures and seeks to find his place in their "strange tribe" with a "famous last name." Sure to excite fans and Hemingway scholars, the book does much to complicate Ernest's image as a macho man, cataloguing both his dependence on women and his gender-bending proclivities. However, the true heart of the book is in exploring the Hemingways' failure as parents and how the familial disposition toward manic-depression created a genetic "Hemingway curse." The author, having escaped the disease, paints his father and grandfather in blunt strokes as loving and generous men who had little understanding of their psychological disorder; the most endearing and comprehensive portrait is of his father's struggles as a transvestite son of a "pillar of American manhood." When describing his own parents' early neglect (his mother was schizophrenic) and, later, his partial reconciliation with his father, the book focuses on the author's generation of Hemingways—but mostly the book is intent upon setting the record straight about Ernest, his youngest son and their similarities. John Hemingway writes honestly and is a sympathetic scrutinizer of this complicated and famous man, the family he parented and the myths to which his writing has given birth. (May)

Reviewed on: 03/05/2007
Release date: 05/01/2007
Genre: Nonfiction
Ebook - 224 pages - 978-1-4617-4994-3
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