Twenty contributors consider violence in the works of such acclaimed writers as Adrienne Rich, Harriet Jacobs, Virgnia Woolf, and Audre Lorde, and such too little known authors as Senegal's Mariama Ba and Aminata Sow Fall, Lebanon's Etel Adnan, and the Jamaican Sistren Collective. The cross-cultural range of works encompasses many forms of violence, overt and covert: sexual abuse, the colonial experience, the ravages of cancer, hostility between mothers and daughters, warfare. The contributors look at the variety of responses to violence and address the costs of breaking cultural taboos against speaking out as well as the strategies women use to violate social expectations without forfeiting the chance to be heard. They show that th differences in women's lives and responses to violence can help us begin to envision a world in which violence is no longer acceptable.