Ellen Landquist was the daughter of the clergyman Axel Landquist and sister of the literary critic John Landquist, grew up in Stockholm, but moved to Uppsala in 1905, and befriended the student and budding author Greta Beckius. She graduated in 1910 and was a journalist on the newspaper Svenska Dagbladet until 1912.
With the help of the writer Elin Wägner, she published the novel Suzanne, 1915, about the student milieu in Uppsala. Her story about a female student's unhappy sexual experiences and her return to a meaningful existence was interpreted as a roman à clef and criticised for being all too daring in its description of female sexuality. Suzanne was Ellen Landquist's sole work of fiction. A year later, she died of anaemia.