Automotive Holiday Deals Up to 50% Off Select Books Shop Men's Athletic Shoes Learn more nav_sap_SWP_6M_fly_beacon Train egg_2015 All-New Amazon Fire TV Luxury Beauty Gifts Under $50 Amazon Gift Card Offer cm15 cm15 cm15 $30 Off Amazon Echo $15 Off All-New Fire Kindle Voyage Cyber Monday Video Game Deals Outdoor Deals on HTL
Impossible Motherhood: Testimony of An Abortion Addict and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more

Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.

  • List Price: $15.95
  • Save: $3.98 (25%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Only 6 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Gift-wrap available.
Impossible Motherhood: Te... has been added to your Cart
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Ex-library book. The item shows wear from consistent use, but it remains in good condition and works perfectly. All pages and cover are intact (including the dust cover, if applicable). Spine may show signs of wear. Pages may include limited notes and highlighting.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

Impossible Motherhood: Testimony of an Abortion Addict Paperback – October 6, 2009

15 customer reviews

See all 5 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
New from Used from
"Please retry"
"Please retry"
$1.27 $1.45

Best Books of the Year So Far
Looking for something great to read? Browse our editors' picks for 2015's Best Books of the Year in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.
$11.97 FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Only 6 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Gift-wrap available.

Frequently Bought Together

  • Impossible Motherhood: Testimony of an Abortion Addict
  • +
  • The Dirty Girls Social Club: A Novel
Total price: $23.71
Buy the selected items together

Special Offers and Product Promotions

  • Take an Extra 30% Off Any Book: Use promo code HOLIDAY30 at checkout to get an extra 30% off any book for a limited time. Excludes Kindle eBooks and Audible Audiobooks. Restrictions apply. Learn more | Shop now

Editorial Reviews


 “Nuanced, intellectually ambitious and unnervingly frank.”—The Washington Post

“The strength of [Impossible Motherhood] lies in exposing the need to talk about abortion as a public health issue. It's impossible to take abortion out of the realm of morality, religion and politics and place it solely in the medical realm, along with diabetes and cancer and high cholesterol. But it is crucial to see it, first and foremost, as an issue of the human body: a woman's body.”—The Miami Herald
“Extraordinary and incendiary…a potential launching pad for a discussion about abortion that is more personal than political…Vilar turns her experiences into a reminder that the complexity of abortion extends beyond the scientific and political arenas…Impossible Motherhood doesn’t shy away from the wounds that are part of Vilar’s journey toward independence; it embraces them, making her remarkable story full of assurance but free of bitterness.”—Bitch Magazine

"Impossible Motherhood tells why [Irene Vilar] had 15 abortions in 16 years…How is that humanly possible in either sense of the word—the moral or the physical? In the telling, however, it seems as inevitable as sunrise...Vilar, who eventually escaped this horrid cycle to have two children, writes not to excuse, but to explain herself." —Elle Magazine

“In Impossible Motherhood Vilar does exactly what the best memoirists do: She tells us the truth about everything, even when the truth utterly confounds….[Vilar] tells [her story] to us with courage and grace and a true writer’s skill.”—The Oregonian

"Vilar does not mean to advocate on either side of the abortion debate; ranging far beyond the politics of abortion, her book is a controversial and intense tale of generational and national trauma…[Vilar is] a writer of brutal honesty and profound intelligence."—ForeWord Magazine

"Impossible Motherhood is like a journey into a harrowing underworld but guided by Vilar's gifts and her light we emerge in the end transformed, enlightened, and oh so alive." –JUNOT DIAZ , AUTHOR OF THE BRIEF WONDROUS LI FE OF OSCAR WAO

"I have never read a book like Impossible Motherhood, Irene Vilar's disturbing, heart-wrenching, and ultimately triumphant memoir, for the simple and understandable reason that no one of her gender has ever summoned the brutally raw, transcendent courage to write such a book–and yes, confess to such a troubling story." –BOB SHACOCHIS , AUTHOR OF EASY IN THE IS LANDS

"Irene Vilar's dramatic and beautifully drawn story forces the reader to confront the power of sexuality and procreation that often is the only power a young woman perceives she owns in this world.  IMPOSSIBLE MOTHERHOOD is profound, raw, wrenching, and honest to the bone.  Yet despite the title, its message is that no matter how intense the pain one has experienced, healing and redemption are in fact possible."—Gloria Feldt

About the Author

Irene Vilar

Irene Vilar was born in Arecibo, Puerto Rico. Her memoir The Ladies' Gallery (Other Press, 2009) was a Philadelphia Inquirer and Detroit Free Press notable book of the year and was short-listed for the 1999 Mind Book of the Year Award. She is a literary agent and editor of The Americas series at Texas Tech University Press.

Hero Quick Promo
Holiday Deals in Kindle Books
Save up to 85% on more than 1,000 Kindle Books. These deals are valid until November 30, 2015. Learn more

Product Details

  • Paperback: 222 pages
  • Publisher: Other Press; 1 edition (October 6, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1590513207
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590513200
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.4 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,142,475 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Irene was born in Arecibo, Puerto Rico. Her memoir The Ladies' Gallery (Other Press, 2009, originally published by Random House in 1996) was a Philadelphia Inquirer and Detroit Free Press Notable Book of the Year and was a finalist for Mind Book of the Year (UK) and the Latino Book Award. Her latest memoir, Impossible Motherhood (Other Press, 2009) won the 2010 IPPY gold medal for best memoir/autobiography and the Latino Book Award for women issues. Both memoirs explore generational and national trauma. Irene's work has been featured on NPR's Fresh Air, CBS-NYC, PBS-Boston, Vogue magazine, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, New York Times Magazine, and on the cover of the New York Times art section. Her books have been translated to German (Aufbau Verlag 1998 & Hoffmann und Campe 2011), French (Balland 2010), Italian (Corbaccio 2010) and Spanish (Lengua de Trapo, Madrid/Buenos Aires 2012). Abroad Irene's work has been featured in Elle (UK) Vanity Fair (Italy), Liberation (France), Grazia (France, UK, Australia), Marie Claire (Italy), Madison (Australia), Republica/Tempo/Gazzetta del Sud/ (Italy) and on the covers of Tempi Magazine (Italy) and Irish Independent Sunday Magazine (Ireland). See:

Vilar was book series editor editor for Women and Jewish Studies at Syracuse University Press and from 2002 to 2005 served as founder and series editor of The Americas book series published by the University of Wisconsin Press. Currently she is series editor of The Americas at Texas Tech University Press. The series has published over forty books in translation in the last ten years being among the most important initiatives of this kind in the US (along with Dalkey, New Directions, Archipielago).

Vilar is literary agent for Vilar Creative Agency, and co-agent in the U.S. for Ray-Gude Mertin Literary Agency, an agency specializing in Spanish, Latin American, and Portuguese authors representing such notable writers as Nobel Prize-winner Jose Saramago.

A 2010 Guggenheim Fellow Vilar is also a participant of the Oxford Union Debate Society, being the first Puerto Rican to be invited to the prestigious union.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Cheryl Strayed on November 8, 2009
Format: Paperback
I'll say it now: Irene Vilar had fifteen abortions in fifteen years. That's the blunt opening one-liner that fails to tell the whole story of this beautiful and brave book. Impossible Motherhood: Testimony of an Abortion Addict is a memoir less about fifteen abortions than it is the story of a young woman who never got enough love.

At eight, Vilar watched her mother commit suicide by leaping out of a car. At twelve, she read The Diary of Anne Frank and felt scarred--not from the horror of the Holocaust, but because she so deeply understood the plight of a girl who lived in an attic and had to ask permission "to exist in that smallest of holes." At seventeen, far from her home and broken family in Puerto Rico, she began a sexual relationship with her fifty-one year old college professor that lasted eleven years.

In Impossible Motherhood Vilar does exactly what the best memoirists do: she tells us the truth about everything, even when the truth utterly confounds. How was it that she could allow herself to conceive unwanted pregnancies over and over again? What compelled her to pursue and eventually marry the domineering man who insisted that to be with him Vilar had to "endure the burden of freedom" by remaining childless, yet rather than get a vasectomy preferred to stand by while Vilar--who was not only painfully young, but often suicidally depressed--had abortion after abortion? In prose that's searchingly honest and gorgeously wrought, Vilar takes us into the depths of her psyche and family history, daring to tell a story that's unsettling and complex and ultimately redemptive.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Sandra Iler Kirkland VINE VOICE on February 21, 2010
Format: Paperback
Impossible Motherhood is the memoir of a woman who had fifteen abortions in fifteen years. Although many will find the author totally unsympathic, others will read her story and understand what motivated her. Irene Vilar lost her mother at age eight, when her mother opened the car door while the car was in motion, throwing herself out and killing herself in front of her child. Having learned from her mother that a female should be pleasing to others, Vilar stuffed down her feelings about this event and channeled her emotions into her schoolwork, succeeding to the point that she is accepted to college at age fifteen.

Leaving her family behind in Puerto Rico, Irene attends Syracuse University in the Northern part of the United States, an environment as different from Puerto Rico as is imaginable. At fifteen, she is left by her father at the college, knowing no one, with little money and little life experience. Her family experiences are bleak. Her father is an alchoholic, who cheats on all the women in his life. Two of her brothers are drug addicts. Vilar falls under the influence of a professor at the university and ends up staying with him for a dozen years. He is sixty years old when they meet, and Irene is sixteen. He insists on his freedom, never paying her way but insisting that she pay for her food, and half of any vacations, as well as paying him rent. Since a child would tie him down, he insists on no children. His basic rule was that he took but did not give back to anyone.

Irene's only rebellion, as she saw it, was forgetting to use her birth control. Her pregnancies were acts of rebellion against this overpowering influence, a way of asserting her independance.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on February 2, 2010
Format: Paperback
Somewhere shortly after I began to read Impossible Motherhood: Testimony of an Abortion Addict by Irene Vilar, I turned to the back to see if there was an author picture. Such a beautiful woman, but with large sad eyes, even in this photo. As I read about her marriage, I wanted to alternatively "shake" her for allowing her husband to treat her so, and then "hug" her tightly as her mother and/or grandmother should have.

There is no doubt that a young 15-year-old woman who begins an affair with a much older man is searching for "something." There is both an honest account of her life with her husband, as well as a follow-up analysis of what was happening to her. Even though she later separated from her husband and went into the same type of defeating relationship with another man, by that time, Irene was already addicted--to abortion as a means of control.

Irene places her life within her cultural background. This is most significant--and not so significant. A need for women to gain some control over their own life has been documented for all women, not just one culture. I must say though that the activities about using the women in Puerto Rico to test drugs are a devastating reality that we must never forget! When will the time come when profits for corporations are no longer more important than people?

Childhood for Irene included her mother leaving the home in her early years. Two of her brothers were drug addicts, one dying from his abuse. Her father was a quiet alcoholic and while he seemed to be "there" for the family, his loss of his wife deeply affected the entire family.

When Irene was 15, she was allowed to go to the United States to begin college.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more
Impossible Motherhood: Testimony of an Abortion Addict
This item: Impossible Motherhood: Testimony of an Abortion Addict
Price: $11.97
Ships from and sold by

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Want to discover more products? Check out these pages to see more: memoir motherhood, traveling with my best friend