Queen Lili'uokalani, the last monarch of Hawai'i, was forced to abdicate and her homeland was annexed. American poet H.D. wrote through the London blitz. Italian novelist and art critic Anna Banti lost the manuscript of her novel about Artemisia Gentileschi but survived the war's devastation to rewrite it. German-Jewish novelist Grete Weil fled to Holland, but her husband was arrested there and murdered by the Nazis. Chilean novelist Isabel Allende fled her country after her uncle Salvador Allende was assassinated and her daughter was lost to disease. Miriam Fuchs analyzes the impact of catastrophe on the lives and writings of these five women. Using a feminist and comparative approach, she links them in insightful ways, despite the differences in their cultural and geographic backgrounds.