Elizabeth Janeway was an American author and critic.
Born Elizabeth Ames Hall in Brooklyn, New York, her naval architect father and homemaker mother fell on hard times during the Depression, leading her to end her Swarthmore College education and help support the family by creating bargain basement sale slogans.
Never a supporter of the Communist Party or even a socialist, she did breathe the progressive air of 1930s New York City; she always laughed as she described how she and a Barnard friend met their physical education requirement by improvising a tap-dance version of The Internationale. Intent on becoming an author, Janeway took the same creative writing class again and again to help hone her craft. While working on her first novel, The Walsh Girls, she met and married Eliot Janeway, economic adviser to Presidents Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Lyndon B. Johnson. Elizabeth described Eliot as "the most intelligent man I had ever met."
The Janeways mingled with United States Supreme Court justices and many other luminaries of the day.
I admire people who are suited to the contemplative life. They can sit inside themselves like honey in a jar and just be. It's wonderful to have someone like that around, you always feel you can count on them. You can go away and come back, you can change your mind and your hairdo and your politics, and when you get through doing all these upsetting things, you look around and there they are, just the way they were, just being.