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Impossible Motherhood: Testimony of an Abortion Addictby Irene Vilar
Synopses & Reviews
Irene Vilar was just a pliant young college undergraduate in thrall to her professor when they embarked on a relationship that led to marriage — a union of impossible odds — and fifteen abortions in fifteen years. Vilar knows that she is destined to be misunderstood, that many will see her nightmare as an instance of abusing a right, of using abortion as a means of birth control. But it isn't that. The real story is part of an awful secret, shrouded in shame, colonialism, self-mutilation, and a family legacy that features a heroic grandmother, a suicidal mother, and two heroin-addicted brothers. It is a story that looks back on her traumatic childhood growing up in the shadow of her mother's death and the footsteps of her famed grandmother, the political activist Lolita Lebron, and a history that touches on American exploitation and reproductive repression in Puerto Rico. Vilar seamlessly weaves together past, present, and future, channeling a narrative that is at once dramatic and subtle.
Impossible Motherhood is a heartrending and ultimately triumphant testimonial told by a writer looking back on her history of addiction. Abortion has never offered any honest person easy answers. Vilar's dark journey through self-inflicted wounds, compulsive patterns, and historical hauntings is a powerful story of loss and mourning that bravely delves into selfhood, national identity, reproductive freedom, family responsibility, and finally motherhood itself — today, Vilar is the mother of two beautiful children.
"Nuanced, intellectually ambitious and unnervingly frank." The Washington Post
"Vilar does not mean to advocate on either side of the abortion debate...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
Vilar was a young college undergraduate in awe of a 50-year-old professor when they embarked on a relationship that led to marriage — and 16 abortions in 15 years. In Impossible Motherhood, Vilar looks back on her history of addiction.
About the Author
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.
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