Education in reaction to reality is a losing catch-up game where nobody wins.


Waterfront Books, December, 2004, 353 pp.


Waterfront Books, December, 2004, 353 pp.


At the pinnacle of his career, George Dimitrov, who long ago escaped to the USA, abruptly quits his well-endowed position in computer science at a research university. Neither he nor Anita, his American-born wife, can understand why quitting academia would set off a chain of events culminating in the lawsuit brought by the University against its former star professor.

His intention to rediscover the fullness of life beyond the computer monitor triggers an intransigence he never expected in the free country that became his own. University administrators, acting like abandoned lovers, block his every step; politicians use his statements to fit the agenda of the day; the media concoct whatever story will sell. All this leads George to wonder what difference there is between the political complicity expected from him under the dictatorship he fled and the complicity in mediocrity expected from him: “Our terms, or no terms at all!”

The intergenerational conflict in George’s family painfully parallels his attempt to escape the pressure to compromise. Each of his three teenage children is trying to become their own person. The loud voices of frustrated adolescents, experimenting in drugs and sexual promiscuity, reverberate in the deceptive atmosphere of cut-throat academics. As pressure builds, George tries a final shot in the dark: the promise of peace or successful escape lies in the drugs he finds in his daughter’s room. But in the final analysis, he cannot give up-he will not take the EXIT.

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