• ISBN: 978-1-92-80551-36
  • Pages: 236
  • Size: 6x9
  • Price: $24.99 / CAD - $16.99 / USD
  • Category: Memoir, Psychology


“Michelle Stewart’s perfectly composed journal is tragic but telling, offering readers deep and astonishing insights into the tortuous mental illness responsible for eating disorders. There are fundamental truths in this book; it should be seen as essential reading for patients, parents and health professionals.”

- Pamela Fayerman, Medical/Health Issues Reporter, Vancouver Sun -

“Shell is a poignant chronicle of eating disorders consuming and distorting the body and the mind. Intimate and rich prose coupled with intense and elegant poetry allows us to accompany its author Michelle Stewart in the final painful stages of life with and death from an eating disorder.”

- Cynthia Bulik, Ph.D., author of Midlife Eating Disorders -

“Stewart writes with candour, vulnerability and grace. She faces her demons with little self-pity, offering an intimate glimpse into life and death with an eating disorder.”

- Amy Smart, Victoria Times-Colonist -


One Woman's Final Year After a Lifelong Struggle with Anorexia and Bulimia

by Michelle Stewart

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About this book:

Michelle Stewart always knew in her heart that her eating disorder would kill her. What she didn’t expect in its early stages was that she would continue to function – albeit far from optimally – for decades before succumbing to its deadly effects. A conscientious and ambitious woman driven by a desire to make a positive difference in the world, Michelle went on to build a successful career first in journalism and then in communications for the British Columbia Ministry of Health. Michelle devoted her working life to raising awareness of healthcare issues, all the while hiding her own anorexia and bulimia from friends and colleagues. By the time she was 48 years old, more than thirty years of self-imposed starvation, binging and purging had ravaged her organs. In May 2013 she was diagnosed with end-stage renal failure and given only a few months to live.

Determined to come out of the shadows and share her story while she still had the chance, Michelle began writing a very personal and revealing blog in which she chronicled her lifelong struggle with her eating disorder and her experiences as a palliative patient within the very same healthcare system in which she had performed her life’s work. “I have had a 32 year dress rehearsal for the fate I now face,” she writes. This memoir is a collection of the most poignant pieces of writing from that blog, supplemented with previously unpublished pieces of original poetry from the author.



About this author:

Michelle Stewart

Michelle Stewart dedicated her working life to raising awareness around issues of public concern. After a decade as a news reporter in radio that ended with her hosting an open-line show in Prince George, she built a longtime career in public-sector communications. Michelle served for seven years as director of communications for the British Columbia Ministry of Health before launching her own communications company in 2012. Michelle died at the age of 49 in 2014. keep reading »