Elena Vanishing

Every day Elena Dunkle is disappearing. Her need to be skinny and appear perfect overtakes every other aspect of her life. When she’s in high school, Elena is hospitalized for her eating disorder, but that doesn’t stop her --- she doesn’t eat the food she’s given and she checks her makeup constantly. Even though she is far from cured, she is released and continues on with her life. Striving to be the perfect daughter, Elena works hard in everything she does. She thrives off of the compliments and envy of others. However, this doesn’t erase the memory of the other daughter --- Elena’s older, runaway sister, Valerie. It also doesn’t erase the memory of the tragic event that happened to Elena when she was only 13-years-old --- the event that started her quest to be perfect.

15 quotes from Elena Vanishing: ‘Where does thin become fat? Where does success become failure? Where does a great future become a horrible past full of. ELENA VANISHING is my memoir, the story of my life and almost-death with adolescent anorexia nervosa. ELENA VANISHING IS NOW AVAILABLE! Click here to order my memoir in hardcover. Click here to order it in Kindle format. Seventeen-year-old Elena is vanishing. Every day means renewed determination, so every day means fewer calories. This is the story of a girl whose armor against anxiety becomes artillery against herself as she battles on both sides of a lose-lose war in a struggle with anorexia.

Elena continues this quest when she goes on to college. Unfortunately, her eating disorder, hard class schedule and several jobs keep Elena constantly exhausted. When she’s fired from her job as an RA, Elena feels like her life could not get any worse. However, when another tragic event happens, Elena spirals downwards. She goes in and out of hospitalization, and the goal of living a normal, healthy life seems to slip farther and farther away. It is not until Elena acknowledges what happened and learns to grow past it will she be able to conquer the eating disorder that is eating her alive.

Hp officejet pro 8610 driver for mac. 'Both [ELENA VANISHING and HOPE AND OTHER LUXERIES: A Mother’s Life with a Daughter’s Anorexia] books are must-reads for anyone whose life has been affected by an eating disorder.'

With the help of her mother, Clare B. Dunkle, Elena Dunkle offers a painfully honest look into the life of someone with an eating disorder in her memoir ELENA VANISHING. Beautifully and heart-wrenchingly told from Elena’s point of view, ELENA VANISHING takes readers through the very best and very worst moments of Elena’s life, demonstrating how it was affected by her eating disorder in both minor and major ways. Readers get a glimpse into Elena’s mind and can see what she was thinking when she was dealing with her eating disorder. Passages from her journal entries also help tell Elena’s story.

One of the best parts of ELENA VANISHING is the writing. The vivid storytelling draws readers in and they are immediately invested. While she does have her struggles, Elena is an incredibly strong young woman. Her relationship with her family is always changing throughout the story, but the love her parents and older sister give her is heartwarming. It’s that love that kept Elena going and on the path of recovery. Readers can see Elena’s mother’s story in her book HOPE AND OTHER LUXERIES: A Mother’s Life with a Daughter’s Anorexia by Clare B. Dunkle released on May 19, 2015. Both books are must-reads for anyone whose life has been affected by an eating disorder. Elena and Clare B. Dunkle’s amazing work on these books offer a unique take on eating disorders, and hopefully their work will help educate others on the harsh reality that is life with an eating disorder.

Reviewed by Cheyenne C., Teen Board Member on May 22, 2015

Elena Vanishing: A Memoir

  • Publication Date: May 19, 2015
  • Genres:Nonfiction, Young Adult 13+
  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Chronicle Books
  • ISBN-10: 1452121516
  • ISBN-13: 9781452121512

When I was in high school, I was put into the hospital to recover from anorexia nervosa and cardiomyopathy (heart damage).

Four hospitals, two intensive care wards, and five weeks later, I finally came home.

Did I think I had a problem?

Absolutely not.

Did I have a problem?


My eating disorder began the very minute I was violently raped at the age of thirteen.

I hid that rape deep inside myself and tried to control away the rage and shame. I controlled myself almost to the point of death.

After the hospitalization, it took me another three years to face my illness and trauma and start to do the very difficult work of recovery. By then, my illness had spiraled out of control and damaged every aspect of my life. It ruled me so completely that even six months of fulltime treatment didn't budge it. I had to work on my recovery for a solid year before I started to see a little progress.

'so a lot of stuff is going on and i just don't know how to handle it. the whole heart thing i've been through before so i'm not worried as much about that but the blood coughing is really making this whole situation more real.'

ELENA VANISHING is the story of my life with trauma and with this insidious and deadly eating disorder.

Half of the book describes my descent, step by step, into behaviors so severe that they almost ended my life twice. The other half describes my efforts to recover: an incredibly complex journey into the unknown, filled with twists and turns, false starts, and dead ends.


Every single episode described along the way is true, to the very best of my and my family's memories.

Elena Vanishing A Memoir

'Diary Dearest, so guess what? i have anorexia. i am crying, i feel so horrible because i am actually proud of myself right now, and i am scared of being proud.'

My mother, Clare B. Dunkle, and I wrote ELENA VANISHING together. She is a published author of award-winning teen fiction.

Her name is on the title page of my memoir because, even though I did the bulk of the remembering, she's the one who did the bulk of the writing.

The memoir was my idea. It took me years to talk my mother into helping me.

For years, I wanted this book more than I wanted anything else. The experience I was living through didn't match the experiences in the books I read. The memoirs I read either seemed to glorify eating disorders or seemed to focus only on the rosiest, most hopeful side of recovery. The truth as I lived it was more complicated than either of those two extremes.

Nothing about eating disorders is simple.

But I couldn't write this book on my own. Saying the words, describing details, remembering snippets, answering questions, even writing paragraphs . . . okay. But the thought of sitting in front of the keyboard for the entirety of the book from beginning to end, watching the words march onto the computer screen at a painfully slow, steady pace, immortalizing my indiscretions, failures, vulnerabilities, self-hatred, fears, and destruction in a series of cold, neutral Word documents—it would have been impossible.

It took me six and a half years to say I was raped.

Not even to describe it. No, just to say the sentence took me six and a half years. Six and a half years, four schools, two countries, six therapists, three psychiatrists, two treatment centers, four hospitals, two thousand three hundred and seventy-two days, fifty-six thousand nine hundred and forty hours, three million four hundred and sixteen thousand four hundred minutes to say that sentence to my parents over the phone and hang up. It took even longer to let other people discuss in it therapy. Longer still to say the hows and when and whys.

'remember what your mother said
remember what your sister said
remember what that boy said
when he slammed his hand into your face,
you silly little ditzy girl.'

What's inside this book are my words, my descriptions, my feelings, my memories, my pain, my fears, my inside look at a world that has lost me many friends and that I have been judged for my entire adult life.

This book is the purest, truest definition of those years and myself as I lived them. Without my mother, it would never have seen the light. It would still be racing violently through my head, waking me up every night, whispering softly in my ear, reminding me in spurts and flashes that my past still dictates my life and it will forever. I scooped it up and threw it out, and my mother took the bits and pieces and glued together the perfect picture of who I am.

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