My Accidental Jihad: A Love Story

My Accidental Jihad: A Love Story

by Krista Bremer

Audio Other(Other)

$59.99 View All Available Formats & Editions


“Utterly absorbing . . . A beautiful book.” —Cheryl Strayed, author of Wild

“A bold piece of writing (and thinking) by an incredibly brave woman.” —Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love

Fifteen years ago, Krista Bremer was a surfer and an aspiring journalist who dreamed of a comfortable American life of adventure, romance, and opportunity. Then, on a running trail in North Carolina, she met Ismail, sincere, passionate, kind, yet from a very different world. Raised a Muslim—one of eight siblings born in an impoverished fishing village in Libya—his faith informed his life. When she and Ismail made the decision to become a family, Krista embarked on a journey she never could have imagined, an accidental jihad: a quest for spiritual and intellectual growth that would open her mind, and more important, her heart.

“A moving, lyrical memoir . . . A sweet and rewarding journey of a book.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Readers of memoir will welcome this love story about patience and kindness and learning the importance of putting culture first.” —Library Journal

“Lucid, heartfelt, and profoundly humane, My Accidental Jihad navigates the boundaries of religion and politics to arrive at the universal experience of love.” —G. Willow Wilson, author of Alif the Unseen

“Bremer’s particular story strikingly highlights the (usually more mundane) cultural clashes and compromises inherent to every marriage or long-term relationship.” —Publishers Weekly

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781467671262
Publisher: HighBridge Company
Publication date: 03/28/2014
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 1.25(h) x 9.00(d)

About the Author

Krista Bremer is the associate publisher of The Sun magazine and the recipient of a Rona Jaffe Foundation award. Her essay on which this book is based, “My Accidental Jihad,” received a Pushcart Prize. Her essays have been published in O: The Oprah Magazine,More magazine, and The Sun, and she’s been featured on NPR and in the PBS series Arab American Stories. Her website is

Table of Contents

Part I Homeland Insecurity

1 Choices 3

2 Genie 20

3 New Life 30

4 Joining the Tribe 39

5 Expecting 49

6 Promises 58

Part II Foreigners

7 Motherhood 67

8 Desire 74

9 Gifts 81

10 Welcome 108

11 Hijabi Barbie 120

12 Freedom 127

13 Rage 147

14 Bartering 158

15 Covering 176

16 Escape 187

Part III Homecoming

17 Betrayal 199

18 Liberation 212

19 Surrender 220

20 Prayer 237

21 Celebration 258

22 Home 269

What People are Saying About This

Unpublished endorsement

My Accidental Jihad is one of the most captivating and moving memoirs I've read in years. The story Krista Bremer tells--one of radical foreignness between a married couple--could be a metaphor for all committed relationships.” --Haven Kimmel, author of A Girl Named Zippy

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

My Accidental Jihad 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Wildflowers More than 1 year ago
It is difficult to assess a book of this nature as it involves various issues like culture and belief with which one may not be familiar with. But this book is honest, and Krista Bremer has with all sincerity chosen to discuss her life and relationship as she embarked on a journey of unexpected struggle to open her heart and grow beyond herself, and explore a world which lies beyond her comfort zone. Krista Bremer is an American author and the associate publisher of The Sun magazine. She is the recipient of a Pushcart Prize, a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writer's Award, and a North Carolina Arts Council fellowship. In short, Bremer is no ordinary American. My Accidental Jihad by Krista Bremer is her love story of being married to Ismail, a Muslim who was born in Libya. It is beautifully written, and the story is much more than a cross-cultural marriage. In it she writes of her teething troubles, hopes, joy and how her marriage has changed her world and her mindset. My Accidental Jihad by Krista Bremer is an eye-opening memoir that is insightful and informative. It is about love and marriage. Bremer sensitively handles the cross-cultural issues, and paints a portrait that will open the eyes of many to the world around us.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I listened to the audiobook version during a car ride and found it very entertaining and intriguing. I recommend this story to anyone interested in new perspectives, humor and observing the contrast of different cultures through a love story. It is a lovely written memoir, which reminds some of Joan Didion's narrative style. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago