Milica Janković

Name Milica Janković
Pseudonyms L. Mihajlović
Date of birth November 23, 1881
Date of death July 27, 1939
Country Serbia
Language Serbian
Web address

About her personal situation

November 23, 1881 Milica Janković is born in Požarevac into a renowned family of  merchants. Her father was Danilo Janković, a famous merchant from Požarevac. During her earliest childhood, her family befell upon highly unfortunate circumstances: the father suffered substantial financial loss and brought his family to the brink of ruin, which would reflect on his marriage and subsequent divorce.

1884 As a result of family quarrels, the mother of Milica Janković left her husband and took the children to her parents in Veliko Gradište, severing all ties with her spouse. Due to such a turn of events, Milica had almost no recollection of her father.

Until 1892 Milica Janković spent her childhood in Veliko Gradište, where she finished primary school. 

1892–1899 Milica moved to Belgrade where she enrolled in the Secondary School for Women. She finished the School for Painters in Belgrade, which was a private educational institution back then. She was appointed teacher of painting and drawing at the Secondary School for Women in Kragujevac.

1900/1901 She enrolled, for the first time, at the University, choosing Russian language as her major, and passed a course held by Professor Radovan Košutić, who noticed her talents and incited her to pursue literary translation.

1904 Milica left for Munich to study painting for a couple of months. She didn’t have much success, though. It was about that time that she began to suffer from chronic rheumatism, a malady which would shadow her till her death, tying her to her bed for almost twenty years.

1906–1912 She spent time with her sister in a village called Smoljnice, from where she sent her first literary work to Jovan Skerlić, the editor of Srpski književni glasnik (Serbian Literary Herald). With the help of Skerilić, she received a teaching post in Belgrade at the Second Grammar School for Women.

1912 She started studying Russian at the University for the second time.

1914–1918 First World War caught her in Split. She spent the occupation in Vrnjci and Trstenik. 

1926  She retired temporarily due to her illness.

1926–1928  Milica spent this period in Paris undergoing medical treatment. On October 27, 1927, a literary event was held in the grand hall of the New University of Belgrade, featuring prominent members of the literary scene – Pavle Popović, Sima Pandurović, Isidora Sekulić, Vladimir Ćorović, Desanka Maksimović, Velimir Živković Massuka. On this occasion, an amount of money was raised to be sent to Milica Jankovic in Paris for her medical treatment. 

From 1928 Milica was mostly bedridden due to her malady. Seeking treatment, she travelled to Dubrovnik, Split, Cavtat, Vrnjci, Niška banja and Trstenik.

July 27, 1939 Milica Janković died in Niška Banja, a spa resort near Niš. She was buried on July 28, 1939 in Belgrade. Many said their goodbyes with eulogies. Among them were Vladimir Ćorović, Pavle Stefanović (on behalf of the Serbian Literary Cooperative), Dragiša Vasić (on behalf of Serbian authors), Mladen Ćurić (on behalf of Yugoslavian authors), Isidora Sekulić and Sima Pandurović. 

Milica Jankovic never married and had no children. Through her entire life she lived in modest conditions and was often underfunded.

Place of birth Požarevac
Place(s) of residence Serbia
Place of death Niška Banja
Nationality srpska
First language(s) Serbian
Marital status Single
Social class Middle class
Education University education

About her professional situation

Milica Janković was a very active female writer. She wrote regularly, till her very death, and left a copious body of work behind her. Her works were read not only in Serbia but in the surrounding countries as well, Croatia and Bosnia especially. Translated into several languages, her literary works were among the most read in the interwar period. She collaborated with the most significant magazines and newspapers of her time: the Serbian Literary Herald, Delo (The Deed), Venac (The Wreath), Bosanska vila (The Bosnian Fairy), Beogradske novine (The Belgrade Newspaper), Savremenik (The Contemporary), Književni jug (The Literary South), Politika (Politics), Misao (Thought) (1919 – 1933, 1937), Ženski pokret (Women’s movement), Žena i svet (Woman and the World), Južni pregled (The Southern Review), Letopis Matice srpske (The Cronicle of Matica srpska), and many more. She translated books from Russian such as Tolstoy’s trilogy Childhood, Boyhood, Youth, along with the novel Sanin by Mikhail Artsybashev.

edited by: Jelena Milinković

translated by: Dunja Dušanić

Profession(s) and other activities Writer for children, Writer of prose and novel, and Painter
Language(s) in which she wrote Serbian
Financial aspects of her career Living by her pen

Works written by this author


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Reception during lifetime

Reception after death

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