After graduating from the University of Teheran, Bijan realizes his
long-term plan and leaves Iran. He can no longer stand the strict rules, the
social and religious obligations or the political situation in his country.
Bijan is headed west in search of his dream of living in a peaceful world where
everyone enjoys life. In the West, he was told, the horizon has a different
colour and life has a different quality. What Bijan could not foresee, however
was that countless exciting, varied, but
also chilling events waiting for him.
At the Iranian-Turkish border, Dariush, a fellow bus passenger, asks
Bijan to carry a parcel for him. Dariush is being pursued by SAVAK, the Iranian
secret police. He intends to climb over the mountains that separate the two
countries, walk to the next Turkish village and reunite with Bijan and the bus.
However, Dariush doesn’t make it into Turkey, and Bijan discovers that the
parcel contains SAVAK’s secret documents, which get him into immense trouble.
Bijan gets a job in Germany working at an American military airbase
during the Vietnam War. He meets a beautiful and self-assured American woman,
Nancy Donahue, with whom he falls in love. Nancy persuades him to go with her
to America, live in her house and study at UCLA for an advanced degree in
computer science. He tries to convince her that he is a poet, loves literature
and has never dealt with mathematics or data processing. He claims that he is
happy with his life in Germany and doesn’t want to change his situation. But
Bijan does not stand a chance—the power of love is too strong. He follows Nancy
to the USA in order to reach the goal that she has already planned for him. In
America, he begins a brand new life, living with the warm-hearted Donahue
family. He also gets to know his neighbour Mike, a right-wing extremist
member of the “Clean American Society” (CAC). Mike
wants Bijan to be his informant, to tell him about black, Jewish and gay
students at the UCLA. Nevertheless, Bijan doesn’t agree with Mike’s views at
all, tries to avoid him and refuses to cooperate in any way with his request.
When Bijan gets high marks on his fourth semester exams, Nancy decides
to plan a great party for him. Bijan has his own surprise for Nancy—a diamond
engagement ring and a marriage proposal. The party starts out fabulously, and
everybody is having a wonderful time. However, here happens an awful tragedy,
the most terrible experience in Bijan’s life.
From Oriental Dreams to Tragedy in the West narrates a series
of intertwined episodes in one novel. This intense story, sensitively written,
makes the differences between Oriental and Occidental mentality more understandable. Lurking in the background of the story is a
portrait that foreshadows the fate of the protagonists.
Available from April 2013