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 Featuring several unpublished correspondences between Ernest and Gregory, Strange Tribe is the story of these two men and the surprising similarities between the two.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.