Strange Tribe: A Family Memoir
by John Hemingway
The Lyons Press. 185 pages, $24.95
AT 5:45 A.M. on October 4, 2001, in a women’s detention center in Miami, Florida, Gloria Hemingway was found dead on the floor of her jail cell. She had been arrested for indecent exposure and resisting arrest after being found wandering on a beach drunk, with a dress and high heels in her hands.
Gloria née Gregory Hemingway was in fact one of the three sons of Ernest Hemingway. Gregory was a transvestite for most of his adult life until undergoing sex change surgery in 1995 at the age of 64. His ongoing battle with bipolar disorder paralleled that of his famous father. In Strange Tribe, Gregory’s son John Hemingway has written a tell-all memoir that explores the Hemingway clan in all of its dysfunctionality. This book represents a gesture of contrition and healing toward his sad, dead father.