The Convert – Reviews

Los Angeles Times
Discoveries: The Convert by Deborah Baker
Susan Salter Reynolds / May 29, 2011

In her book The Convert, Baker asks the big and small questions: Why did Margaret convert? Why did she feel so compelled to leave the West? What were her thoughts on marriage? How did she fit in that strange new household? And finally, what was the state of her mental health? It is this last question that leads Baker down a truly fascinating path, through Margaret’s diagnosis of schizophrenia in 1957, her incarceration in a mental hospital outside Lahore, her arranged marriage to a friend of Mawdudi’s and on into a thicket of lies and cultural mis-communications that helps the author understand the relationship between Islam and the West. There are many conversions in this complicated story; questions raised that illuminate a subtle relationship between the two cultures rarely revealed anywhere else.