I, Andrei is a story of generational conflict. Andrei Luchowski is the son of Polish immigrants, refugees from the devastation of Hitler's Europe. Andrei's father wants his son to enjoy the prosperous life that he, Henryk Luchowski, has created for his family in "this wonderful America." However, when his best friend dies in Vietnam, Andrei joins the US Army, intending to make amends to his dead friend, an Army draftee. Henryk lashes out at Andrei, creating an estrangement that continues for many years. Andrei completes a difficult deployment to Panama, where he participates in chemical weapons research. Filled with bitterness, he does not return home to mend fences. Instead, he buys a motorcycle and rides it across the country to California, in search of something that he is unable to define. There, he encounters a woman-a prostitute who struggles daily to provide food and shelter for her small daughter. He follows her to Santa Fe, New Mexico, seeking answers to the many questions that he has about his life.