I continue to read books. If nothing else, at least temporarily, they make me forget my troubles — like the ones mentioned above. Niether West Nor East is a wonderful travelogue of an American woman’s journey through Iran. It is an incredible marriage of the geography, history, politics, religion, literature, and culture of Iran. Not only did it bring back a lot of memories for me, but it was great to revisit places I had been to in my youth and others that I hadn’t been to. To me, the lesson of the book is that just like so much in life, whatever impressions you may have formed, it is not the same until you experience it for yourself. The following passage from the book illustrates this point:
"Traveling in the imagination is often more rewarding than traveling in the real world. Yet for me, traveling in Iran was precisely like traveling in the imagination, where much is wild and uncharted. Every day, I encountered deep, rich recesses that I’d had no idea existed before. Some of this was due to the overwhelming hospitality and complexity of the Iranan people, some to the depth and variety of their culture, some to the haunting and beauty of the terrain — so different from what I was used to. But some of it also had to do with the fact that for Americans, Iran is a forbidden society."
- Neither West Nor East
- Book Cover