John Hemingway is an American writer and translator living in Montreal.
His memoir, Strange Tribe (Lyons Press, May 2007), describes the love/hate relationship and the striking similarities between his father, Dr. Gregory Hemingway, and his grandfather, Ernest Hemingway.
Ernest lived much of his adult life in Cuba and eventually became a fixture of Havana. He often retreated and fished extensively aboard his boat, Pilar, when he was not enjoying the island lifestyle, hanging out in Havana, and entertaining guests at his Cuban home, the Finca Vigia, which is today a museum preserved almost exactly as he left it in 1960.
Some of Ernest’s most important literary contributions were created while living in Cuba. Ernest’s 1954 Nobel Prize in Literature has been attributed to his book, The Old Man and the Sea. The book’s publication reinvigorate Ernest’s literary reputation and prompted a reexamination of his entire body of work.
Before heading to Europe to cover World War II, Ernest hunted German U-Boats in the Caribbean from Pilar, which he had outfitted with radio communications and weaponry designed to sink a German submarine should it approach the Pilar in search of fresh supplies. No such encounter ever occurred.
In an article in Sport Fishing Magazine, John describes his grandfather’s passion for fishing:
Ernest studied the blue marlin and reported his findings to marine biologists in Cuba and the United States. He wanted to know where the marlin were feeding and what they ate, where they spawned and when and how long they lived. He wanted to know everything there was to know about these predators because he admired their speed and their beauty and because — as with anglers the world over — these fish and the battles that he waged to bring them in had become a part of his life, a part of what defined him as a writer and a man. – John Hemingway