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Silent Sorority: A Barren Woman Gets Busy, Angry, Lost and Found Paperback – April 18, 2009

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Silent Sorority: A Barren Woman Gets Busy, Angry, Lost and Found + Unsung Lullabies: Understanding and Coping with Infertility
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 218 pages
  • Publisher: BookSurge Publishing (April 18, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1439231567
  • ISBN-13: 978-1439231562
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (67 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #189,652 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"This book is snappy, funny, and irreverent as well as moving. Silent Sorority does a great job addressing the invisibility of non-Moms."

"Silent Sorority is a brave book and a gift to all infertile women, whatever stage of the journey they may be on." --NBC/iVillage

"The author has the gift of using humor to get through the pain and she just nails the irony of life as a 'non-mom.' " -- Fertility Authority

"Tsigdinos has given a voice to infertile women's experience." --Bitch Magazine, Spring 2011

About the Author

Pamela Mahoney Tsigdinos (Sig-din-us) is an award-winning author, blogger and an infertility survivor. In her first book, Silent Sorority, Pamela shares with naked candor, humor and poignancy the intense and, at times, absurd experience of adjusting to a life as a "non-mom." Pamela and her blog have been profiled in the New York Times, The Globe and Mail, The New Atlantis, The American Prospect, Montreal Gazette, Ottawa Citizen and Yahoo Shine. Her writing is featured in a variety of online outlets including Fertility Authority, Open Salon,, and BlogHer, just to name a few.

More About the Author

Pamela Mahoney Tsigdinos (Sig-din-us) is an award-winning author, blogger and infertility survivor. In Silent Sorority Pamela shares with naked candor, humor and poignancy the intense and, at times, absurd experience of confronting infertility -- particularly overwhelming in an era of designer babies and helicopter parents. Silent Sorority is the antidote to the "momoir." It gives voice to the large but little known population of women left to confront the often unpredictable and lasting impact of failed fertility treatments. Relationships and identity are among the casualties. With raw honesty Pamela draws from her experience to explore the stigma associated with infertility and the complex effects of living involuntarily childless.

Pamela was honored in New York in 2010 at RESOLVE's Night of Hope ceremony where she received the RESOLVE Choice Award for Best Book. In 2011 the latest edition of Our Bodies, Ourselves included Silent Sorority as a recommended resource.

She first dealt with the confusion and weirdness of infertility in isolation. This was a time not so long ago (pre-"Dr Google" and before the proliferation of Internet communities) when most information on the topic was available via the library or book store. It was only after she and her husband decided they were done being human lab experiments that she began to realize that overcoming infertility is about much more than making a baby. It's about coming to terms, when neither Mother Nature nor science deliver, with a life different than one so often taken for granted.

At the same time she was writing Silent Sorority she started her blog Coming2Terms, which allowed her to connect with women around the world also looking reconcile the challenges of living in societies that devalue those without children. Her international readership includes those who have never stepped foot in a fertility clinic, those pursuing fertility treatment, those who became mothers after treatment or adoption, and those, who like her, are building lives without once sought after children.

Pamela and her blogs have been profiled in the New York Times, Women's eNews, Redbook, The Globe and Mail, The BroadSide, Yahoo Shine, The, The American Prospect, The Ottawa Citizen, The New Atlantis, Vancouver Sun, and RESOLVE. Her writing is featured in a variety of media outlets including WIRED, FORTUNE, The New York Times, NYT Motherlode Blog, Huffington Post, Seleni Institute, Open Salon, and BlogHer.

She earned a B.A. in English Literature at the University of Michigan and an M.A. in Organizational Communication at Wayne State University in Detroit. After 10 memorable years working in the auto industry, she now lives and works in Silicon Valley. When she's not writing, she enjoys travel and discussing history, Indie films, documentaries, politics, current events and literature with her husband and friends. She is passionate about raising infertility awareness, particularly for those who don't go on to parent, as they are often left to resolve their grief amid questions about their decision and without the volume of support offered on other paths.

Customer Reviews

I needed a book like this to make me feel sane.
Amazon Customer
Silent Sorority is a priceless gem for anyone faced with infertility and a must-read for friends and family.
Marcia Freespirit
Thank you, Pamela, for having the courage to write and share your story with us.
Susan P.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

40 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Thursday Brown on April 25, 2009
Format: Paperback
Hiding out in public bathrooms? You're not alone.
Subjected to celebratory baby bump chatter around the water cooler? Not alone.
Feeling left out of experiencing one of life's biggest milestones? Not alone.
Struggling to make peace with never getting to be a bio parent? Not alone.
Grappling with the overall ignorance and indifference towards infertility? Not alone.
Learning to embrace the next stage without having to save up for a college fund? Not alone.

Pamela Mahoney Tsigdinos represents a side of infertility that has been insultingly overlooked in the literary world: her story doesn't end with a bouncing baby, instead it's delves into the heart and mind of an involuntarily childless woman.

Those just starting down the fun infertility rabbit hole may find her outcome scary because she ended up on the other side of hope... until she found new dreams for which to hope. She shares a truth about advanced reproductive technologies (ART)--sometimes they just don't work. Actually, make that oftentimes they don't work. And adoption isn't just the simple panacea the general public seems to believe will soothe the Infertile's broken heart.

Those of us who have suffered silently through the trials of infertility due to its still-present public stigma, viscerally crave our plight to be understood. And it's no easy task to convey what it's like to struggle with infertility in a world where today's "news" involves glaring headlines about the latest celebutante who, oopsie, managed to get knocked up by her boyfriend of several months--yet convey she does.

Not only will "Infertiles" find comforting validation reading and relating to this author's (decade-long!
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By CyndiB on May 26, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am deeply greatful to the author for writing this book. My stomach turned when I read some of the stupid comments made to encourage and give hope, the insensitive things said in ignorance or impatience, because I was guilty of saying them myself to my own daughter. I have a much better understanding of what she is experiencing. I have felt puzzled and helpless when I have seen her lose it with pregnant friends and family members, but knowing that every blasted 28 days she receives another reminder of loss and failure really brings it into focus. This is a cross no one should have to bear. It is more pain than anyone should have to endure. I now notice all the constant reminders that are all around us every day, all the time. A ceaseless reminder of the one thing she desires so much being behond her reach. But the hope that Pam gives for finding her way out of the pain is beautiful. There is no recovery from this. How can one recover? It isn't possible. I am going to send a copy to a family member who has been especially insensitive. She should have to go through the Twilight Zone.
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By C. Gombar on April 28, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm so glad someone wrote this book! While the publishing industry spews out dozens, if not hundreds of titles a year that wind up with Baby and Happily Ever After, there's nothing for the large minority -- or maybe it's a majority? -- of people the fertility industry failed. This book tells the whole story, the peaks and valleys -- of that journey. Can a book that ends without a baby have a happy ending? A resounding yes.

Like the author, I also wound up without children, though due to different circumstances. Dealing with that private loss is one thing, dealing with the social stigma is ten times worse.

I hope that this book is the beginning of a sea change in a baby-frenzied culture. Octomom brought home to the wider world that being a Mom isn't necessarily a thing to be admired in itself.

This book does a great job addressing the invisibility of non-Moms -- the author identifies as Infertile -- but women who wound up without for other reasons will also relate. Why is 70% of all public conversation kid chatter? Where did manners go?

I hope this book brings some awareness to wider society that there's a pretty large group of people out there who aren't just being marginalized, but often maligned simply because they couldn't/didn't reproduce.

This book is incredibly well-written, snappy, funny irreverent as well as moving. The author takes us through the steps of shock, grief, hope, anger, denial and acceptance. The denial part really hit home with me -- you kind of have to park yourself there for a while, it takes some time to accept your fate.

What this book doesn't do is tell you "six easy steps" -- or how to "fix your attitude" to your childless state. Thank God! For me it was much better to hear the inside thoughts of someone who's gone through the same, or similar trials I have, and how she's found a way to be in the world. Bravo!
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By loribeth on May 20, 2009
Format: Paperback
There aren't many resources out there for those of us who opt to leave the infertility treatment path and live without children (as opposed to those who are childfree by choice in the first place).

There are a few Internet sites and message boards, and a few (very few) books devoted specifically to this subject -- most of them written in the 1980s & early 1990s. And a lot has changed since those books were written. Whereas once upon a time, the choice for infertile couples was stark & clear -- adopt or remain childless/free -- the options available to them have multiplied almost exponentially.

Thanks to birth control, it's now easier for women who don't want to have children to remain childfree -- and an increasing number of them are doing so -- sometimes quite vocally. At the same time, the public's seemingly endless cult-like fascination with the pregnant bellies and all things mommy, pregnancy and baby-related has, if anything, only intensified -- as has the growing outspokeness of those who are childfree by choice. No wonder it sometimes feels as though the voices of women (like me) who are living without children after infertility are getting lost in the cacaphony, struggling to be heard above the din.

That's why I was so happy to recently receive & read my copy of Silent Sorority. For me, finding Pamela's blog on the Internet a few years ago was like stumbling into an oasis in the middle of a desert, and her book continues the good work of her blog.
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