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Elizabeth McNeill (1940–2011)

Author of Nine and a Half Weeks

Includes the names: Ingeborg Day, Elizabeth McNeil, Elizabeth Mcneill, McNEILL ELIZABETH

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Elizabeth McNeill was the pseudonym of Ingeborg Day, born Ingeborg Seiler in Graz, Austria. She later said her childhood was uneventful, despite the backdrop of World War II, which her parents refused to discuss. Her father was an early member of the Nazi Party and served in the SS, a subject she grappled with in her childhood memoir Ghost Waltz (1980). In 1957, Ingeborg went to the USA as an exchange student sponsored by the American Field Service and attended high school in Syracuse, New York. There she met and married Dennis Day, who was in training to become an Episcopal priest, with whom she had two children. They moved to Indiana, where she obtained a bachelor's degree in German studies from Goshen College. She spent several years teaching in small Midwestern towns. She left her husband after falling in love with another man, and moved to New York City. She got a job as an editor and translator at Ms. magazine. During this time, she had the affair she described in her 1978 book Nine and a Half Weeks: A Memoir of a Love Affair, published pseudonymously. In 1983, her identity as McNeill was revealed in print, and Ghost Waltz was published in Germany with her own translation, with great success. Nine and a Half Weeks was adapted as a film in 1986. She also wrote a Rand McNally travel guide to Scandinavia under her own name. In 1991, she married Donald Sweet, 14 years her senior, and lived in Ashland, Oregon. She committed suicide at age 70.
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