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Ingeborg Day (November 1940 – May 18, 2011) was an Austrian-American author, best known for the semi-autobiographical erotic novel 9½ Weeks which she published under the pseudonym Elizabeth McNeill, and which was later made into the 1986 film of the same name starring Kim Basinger and Mickey Rourke.[1]

Ingeborg Day
Born Ingeborg Day
November 1940
Graz, Austria
Died May 18, 2011(2011-05-18) (aged 70)
Ashland, Oregon, United States
Pen name Elizabeth McNeill
Occupation Author
Education Goshen College
Genre Fiction
Notable work 9½ Weeks
Spouses Dennis Day (divorced)
Donald Sweet (m. 1991; d. 2011)


Day was born in Graz, Austria, in November 1940. Her father, Ernst Seiler, was a member of the Nazi SS organization. She spent the last two years of the war on her grandmother's farm.

In 1957, as a high school student, she participated in the AFS exchange program, living with an American family for one year and attending Eastwood High School in Syracuse, NY, USA. She met and married a trainee priest, Dennis Day and they moved to Indiana, where she attained a B.A. in German studies from Goshen College, and spent several years teaching in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

They had a daughter, Ursula, in 1963, and a son, Mark, who died at the age of seven.

Day left her husband and moved to Manhattan with artist Tom Shannon, and became an editor at Ms magazine. It was during this time that the affair happened that is portrayed in 9½ Weeks.

In 1978 she published the book 9½ Weeks under a pseudonym.[2]

In 1980 she published her memoir Ghost Waltz.[3]

In 1991, she married Donald Sweet, a man fourteen years older. They moved to Ashland, Oregon shortly after the wedding.

She committed suicide on May 18, 2011, aged seventy.[4] Her infirm husband died four days later.[5]


  1. ^ Sarah Weinman, Who Was the Real Woman Behind “Nine and a Half Weeks”?, The New Yorker, November 2012,
  2. ^ Elizabeth McNeill, 1978, Nine and a Half Weeks: A Memoir of a Love Affair
  3. ^ Ingeborg Day, 1980, Ghost Waltz
  4. ^
  5. ^