© Copyright Deborah Baker 2011. All rights reserved.
Deborah Baker was born in Charlottesville and
grew up in Virginia, Puerto Rico and New England.
She attended the University of Virginia and
Cambridge University. Her first biography,
written in college, was Making a Farm: The Life of
Robert Bly, published by Beacon Press in 1982.
After working a number of years as a book editor
and publisher, in 1990 she moved to Calcutta
where she wrote In Extremis; The Life of Laura
Riding. Published by Grove Press and Hamish
Hamilton in the UK, it was shortlisted for the
Pulitzer Prize in Biography in 1994. Her third
book, A Blue Hand: The Beats in India was
published by Penguin Press USA and Penguin
India in 2008. In 2008-2009 she was a Fellow at
the Dorothy and Lewis C. Cullman Center for
Writers and Scholars at The New York Public
Library. There she researched and wrote The
Convert: A Tale of Exile and Extremism, a
narrative account of the life of an American
convert to Islam, drawn on letters on deposit in the
library’s manuscript division. "The Convert,
published by Graywolf and Penguin India, was a
finalist for the 2011 National Book Award in Non-
Fiction". She has two children and is married to
the writer Amitav Ghosh. They divide their time
between Brooklyn and Goa.