FrancoAmerican essayist known as “Genêt”
Janet Flanner was born on March 13, 1892, in Indianapolis. Flanner received an excellent education at both the local public school, which she attended until the sixth grade, and the new private school in Indianapolis, Tudor Hall. In this private school, Flanner developed her love of writing.
In 1922, Flanner moved to Paris, France, and began to focus more on her writing. Though she was primarily a newspaper journalist, she
did write one novel, The Cubical City. This work spoke about landmarks and nature that are reflections of her early life in Indiana.
As the novel continues, Flanner mentions a fictional town, which she only refers to as a Middle Western town. Although she never states the town is Indianapolis, her only midwestern experience involved Indiana. There are references to this town in more than one part of the novel, which may indicate that she is writing about the midwestern town of her former home in Indianapolis.
Flanner continued to write frequently after the publication of The Cubical City, but it remained her only novel. She lived in Paris until 1975, when she returned to New York City and remained there until her death on November 7, 1978.
"No harem, no hysteria, no ogling, just a very wise old man
in his rich pantry of food and thoughts."
Janet Flanner on visiting G. I. Gurdjieff in Paris after WW II.
Her September 14, 1944 letter to Solano, however, describes a visit with Gurdjieff, whom she called “a very wise old man sitting in his rich pantry of foods and thoughts”.