Lydia, a woman in her early thirties, lives in London. She lacks a purpose and loses herself in a string of affairs. When she meets Rabia, a convert to Islam, the Moslem rituals and the Arabic language offer her a new beginning. Lydia becomes Kauthar. She falls in love with Rafiq, an Iraqi-born doctor, and her life seems complete. But the terrorist attacks of 9/11 tests their relationship. While Kauthar becomes increasingly fundamental in her beliefs, Rafiq returns to war-torn Baghdad to work in a hospital. Kauthar follows her husband - and the consequences are terrifying. Kauthar charts the life of a white British woman who converts to Islam. The story explores the reasons why and analyses the psychological factors that lead her to distort and misuse her religious faith. Ultimately, Kauthar is a novel about how longing for love can result in violent delusion.
Meike Ziervogel is the founder and director of Peirene Press, an award-winning UK publishing house. Her debut novel 'Magda' was published in 2013 to critical acclaim. It was shortlisted for the Guardian's Not the Booker prize, and was nominated as a book of the year 2013 by the Observer, Irish Times and Guardian readers. Meike lives in London with her husband and two children.
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