May 2014 Indie Next List
“Bremer's marriage memoir opened my eyes to a culture I previously didn't know much about. Great books invite us in, give us an education without our realizing we are learning something, and change us with each page. That's what this account did for me. Bremer's marriage to a Libyan Muslim crosses cultural boundaries, and hardships and heartbreaks abound -- but there are blessings and happiness too. I'll be recommending this one!”
— Annie Jones, The Bookshelf, Thomasville, GA
Fifteen years ago, Krista Bremer would not have been able to imagine her life today: married to a Libyan-born Muslim, raising two children with Arabic names in the American South. Nor could she have imagined the prejudice she would encounter or the profound ways her marriage would change her perception of the world.But on a running trail in North Carolina, she met Ismail. He was passionate and sincere and he loved adventure as much as she did. From acquaintances to lovers to a couple facing an unexpected pregnancy, this is the story of two people a middle-class American raised in California and a Muslim raised by illiterate parents in an impoverished Libyan fishing village who made a commitment to each other without forsaking their own identities.It is the story of a bicultural marriage and aren t all marriages bicultural? In any marriage, we might discover that our mate is foreign to us, with very different language, memories, and assumptions about home and family. How we respond to difference shapes our world.Profoundly moving and often funny, this meditation on tolerance explores what it means to open our hearts to another culture and to embrace our own. It is Krista Bremer's unexpected struggle to reach beyond herself, her accidental Jihad.
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 www.kristabremer.com.