- Finalist for the 2011 National Book Award in Nonfiction
What drives a woman raised in a postwar New York City suburb to convert to Islam, abandon her country and Jewish faith, and embrace a life of permanent exile in Pakistan? The Convert, a finalist for the National Book Award and a Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2011, tells the gripping story of how Margaret Marcus of Larchmont became Maryam Jameelah of Lahore.
- “Sexual secrets? Suspense? Drama? Reversals? They’re all here. . . . [Deborah] Baker’s captivating account conveys the instability, faith, politics, and improbable cultural migration that make [Maryam] Jameelah’s life story so difficult to sum up yet impossible to dismiss.”—The New York Times Book Review
- “[The Convert] is more than a biography; it gets at the heart of the ongoing conflict between Islam and the West.”—Marie Claire
- “[A] profoundly disorienting biography. . . . The life story of Maryam Jameelah seems to have alternately fascinated, disturbed, and unsettled Deborah Baker. It is guaranteed to do the same to her readers.”—The Christian Science Monitor
- “There are many conversions in this complicated story; questions raised that illuminate a subtle relationship between the two cultures rarely revealed anywhere else.”—Los Angeles Times