Janeway, Elizabeth (1913—)

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Janeway, Elizabeth (1913—)

American author, critic and lecturer. Born Elizabeth Hall on October 7, 1913, in Brooklyn, New York; daughter of Charles H. Hall (a naval architect) and Jeanette F. (Searle) Hall; attended Swarthmore College,1930–31; Barnard College, B.A., 1935; married Eliot Janeway (an economist and author), October 29, 1938; children: Michael Charles, William Hall.

Recipient of Delta Kappa Gamma Educators award (1972); D. Lit. from Simpson College (1972), Cedar Crest College, and Villa Maria College; Distinguished Alumna award, Barnard College (1979).

Selected writings:

The Walsh Girls (1943); Daisy Kenyon (1945); The Question of Gregory (1949); The Vikings (1951); Leaving Home (1953); The Early Days of the Automobile (1956); The Third Choice (1958); Accident (1964); Ivanov VII (1967); (ed. with others) Discovering Literature (1968); (ed.) The Writer's World (1969); Man's World-Woman's Place: A Study in Social Mythology; (ed.) Women: Their Changing Roles (1973); Between Myth and Morning: Women Awakening (1974); Powers of the Weak (1980).

Born on October 7, 1913, in Brooklyn, New York, to Charles H. and Jeanette Searle Hall , Elizabeth Janeway was educated in local schools

and then enrolled at Barnard College of Columbia University. Intent on a literary career, she took a short-story course repeatedly in order to force herself to write a certain number of words each term. Her diligence appears to have been successful because in 1935 she won Story Magazine's Intercollegiate Short Story Contest. Janeway, who was forced to leave college during the Depression due to her family's financial losses, continued to write, turning out persuasive advertisements for a department store's bargain basement. She was eventually able to return to Barnard and graduated in June 1935.

After graduation and a short courtship, Elizabeth Hall married Eliot Janeway, an economist, author, and one of the editors of Life and Fortune magazines, on October 29, 1938. During this period, Elizabeth Janeway began working on a short story which, on the third attempt, was finished and published as The Walsh Girls in 1943. A psychological study of two New England sisters, Janeway's first novel attracted attention and critical acclaim from many. Others, although agreeing that she was a "new and brilliant young writer," with much to be expected from her future work, found her characters somewhat lackluster. Janeway devoted herself to improving her writing and, during the 1940s and 1950s, turned out several novels, including Daisy Kenyon (1945), The Question of Gregory (1949), Leaving Home (1953), and The Third Choice (1958). She also penned two children's books, The Vikings (1951) and Ivanov VII (1967). Although her novels and later works, including Man's World-Woman's Place: A Study in Social Mythology (1971) and Between Myth and Morning: Women Awakening (1974), helped earn Janeway praise for her contribution to feminist literature, these works are considered by many to be low key and noncontroversial. Janeway was also a regular contributor to numerous literary and popular journals.


Current Biography. NY: H.W. Wilson, 1944.

Jo Anne Meginnes , freelance writer, Brookfield, Vermont