When Terence O'Donnell, an American who lived in Iran for fifteen years in the 1960s and 1970s, was asked what he was doing there, he replied, "The conviction of all Iranians, of most of my compatriots, and indeed of the Russians, was that I was engaged in intelligence work. I was, and what is more I filed a daily report. My employer was myself and my reports consisted of eight thousand pages of journal. This book was drawn from that material." For ten years, O'Donnell lived on a farm near Shiraz, in southern Iran, where he raised mainly pomegranates, but also quinces, grapes, chickens, and bees. He also made many Iranian friends. His memories of that time have yielded a masterpiece of national portraiture, wonderfully alive to the complexities of the Iranian character-courteous, capricious, deeply religious yet also playful, generous, and poetic. A work of shimmering beauty and sensitivity, Garden of the Brave in War will deepen every reader's understanding of the often elusive country that lies behind the headlines.
Terence O’Donnell was born in Portland, Oregon in 1924. In addition to farming during his years in Iran, he received three Fulbright lectureships at Iranian universities. In 1972 he returned to Portland and became active in the Oregon Historical Society. He is the author of several books about Oregon, and Seven Shades of Memory, a collection of short fiction about Iran. Terence O’Donnell died in March 2001.
Dick Davis is Professor of Persian at Ohio State University, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. He lived in Iran for eight years, from 1970 to 1978.