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Janet "Genet" Flanner
(March 13, 1892 - November 7, 1978) U.S.A.

Janet Flanner

Journalist, writer and translator


Janet FlannerBorn in Indianapolis, Indiana, as one of three girl children, she was keen to escape her family. She matriculated at the University of Chicago in 1912 but left after two years, first to work in a girls' reformatory, then to become a drama and art critic for the Indianapolis Star in 1916.

Towards the end of WWI she married William Lane Rehm and moved with him to New York City, but by 1922 was divorced. In New York City she met the love of her life, Solita Solano, a 30-year-old drama critic and editor. In New York Flanner got involved with the lesbian and gay community of Greenwich Village. When Solano was given assignment in Greece in 1921, Flanner went with her. The two women settled in Paris in 1922 in the Hotel Saint germain where they stayed until the beginning of WWII.

Janet FlannerFlanner did not write directly about her lesbian experiences but she was a prominent member of the Paris lesbian community. In 1931 Flanner fell in love with the singer Noel Haskins Murphy and spent increasing amounts of time with her at her country home in Orgeval, a small town to the west of Paris. Solano had to come to terms with this intrusion into her relationship with Flanners and became a frequent visitor to Orgeval.

Flanner had also a number of passionate friendships or lesbian relationships with women such as Natalia Danesi Murray and Monica Stirling. When Flanner became increasingly involved with Murray, Solano met and fell in love with Elizabeth (Lib) Jenks Clark. The two moved first to the USA and then, after the end of WWII, to Orgeval in France, close to the home of Flanner's lover.


Source: excerpts from: Gabriele Griffin, Who's Who in Lesbian and Gay and Writing, Routledge, London, 2002

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