9. Virginia Woolf

Most celebrated books: Mrs. Dalloway (1925), To The Lighthouse (1927), A Room Of One’s Own (1929)

Life story: Any writer will tell you that the act of penning original stories is the purest, and often most therapeutic, form of escapism available to any- and everyone. Virginia Woolf knew this better than most writers; plagued by domestic traumas all throughout her life, the London-born introvert suffered through a string of nervous breakdowns, chiefly ascribed to the deaths of her mother (when Woolf was only 13) and half-sister (when she was 15). She was even sent to a loony bin as a 22-year-old after her father passed away and she mentally collapsed harder than ever before.

After her home was blown to shit during the Nazis’ “Blitz” bombing of London (from September 1940 through May 1941), Woolf’s dark life ended when she stuffed an overcoat’s pockets full of stones and jumped into a nearby river. Crazy, yes, but also crazy depressing.