Elissa Washuta

Washuta - My Body Is a Book of Rules Cover

About My Body is a Book of Rules:


A finalist for the Washington State Book Award

In My Body Is a Book of Rules, Elissa Washuta corrals the synaptic gymnastics of her teeming bipolar brain, interweaving pop culture with neurobiology and memories of sexual trauma to tell the story of her fight to calm her aching mind and slip beyond the tormenting cycles of memory.


Praise for My Body is a Book of Rules:


"In a reliably honest, original and frank fashion, Washuta’s ruminations lift the veil of her chronic (and highly medicated) bouts of mental illness to reveal the confused, frenetic and often traumatic reality of living with overwhelming bouts of depression and mania. A fever dream of darkly personal memories and musings from the shadowy corners of sexual violence and mental illness." - KIRKUS REVIEWS

"In her harrowing chronicle of bipolar disorder, sexual violence, and struggles with Native identity, she provides a window into this country’s failures when it comes to responding to mental illness, rape and the negative messages women receive about their sexual agency. ... It’s [a story] that parents, educators, mental health providers, and young women will find immensely valuable." - PUBLISHERS WEEKLY

"Washuta lays bare all of her pain and frustration in a staggeringly personal memoir that will leave a deep impression on readers. ... She searches and yearns for answers in this brutally honest and utterly unforgettable narrative." - BOOKLIST

"No matter how prepared you think you are for Washuta, she's sure to knock you over." - THE STRANGER

"Elissa Washuta’s memoir isn’t coming out until August, but you should have it on your radar now. … [The book] is an ultra-modern take on contemporary femininity, mental illness, and identity." - COSMOPOLITAN

"In Body, Washuta shows why younger voices and voices outside the mainstream matter. They show us the immediate implications of our current culture on our psyches, bodies, and hearts. In her refusal to apologize or sugarcoat her thoughts and behavior, and her refusal to let others off the hook for their actions, Washuta forces us to reflect on our own experiences and draw the connections." - THE RUMPUS

Washuta - Starvation Mode Cover

About Starvation Mode:

In Starvation Mode: A Memoir of Food, Consumption, and Control, Elissa Washuta crafts a personal accounting of her struggle for culinary control, and presents the guidelines she followed as she attempted to shape her body and mind through the food she consumed.

The book’s seemingly simple structure (a series of rules to eat and live by) contrasts with the powerful way she pulls readers into a complicated story of our needs and the cultural pressures that shape us.

Starvation Mode is ~15k words, a mini-memoir just made for a single evening’s read.