• Birth—February 24, 1971
• Where—Kansas City, Missouri, USA
• Education—B.A., University of Kansas; M.A., Northwest University
• Awards—Ian Fleming Steel Daggers
• Currently—lives in Chicago, Illinois
Gillian Flynn is an American author, screenwriter, comic book writer, and former television critic for Entertainment Weekly. Her three published novels are the thrillers: Sharp Objects, Dark Places, and Gone Girl.
Flynn was born in Kansas City, Missouri. Both of her parents were professors at Metropolitan Community College–Penn Valley: her mother, Judith Ann (nee Schieber), a reading-comprehension professor; her father, Edwin Matthew Flynn, a film professor. "Painfully shy," Flynn found escape in reading and writing and watching horror movies.
Flynn attended the University of Kansas, where she received her undergraduate degrees in English and journalism. She spent two years in California writing for a trade magazine for human resources professionals before moving to Chicago where, in 1997, she earned a Master's in journalism at Northwestern University.
Initially, Flynn wanted to work as a police reporter but soon discovered she had no aptitude for police reporting. She worked briefly at U.S. News & World Report before being hired as a feature writer in 1998 for Entertainment Weekly. She was promoted to television critic, writing about both tv and film.
Flynn attributes her craft to her 15-some years in journalism:
I could not have written a novel if I hadn't been a journalist first, because it taught me that there's no muse that's going to come down and bestow upon you the mood to write. You just have to do it. I'm definitely not precious.
Although Flynn considers herself a feminist, some critics accuse her of misogyny because of the unflattering depiction of female characters in her books. Yet feminism, she feels, allows for women to be bad characters in literature:
The one thing that really frustrates me is this idea that women are innately good, innately nurturing.
Flynn also said people will dismiss...
trampy, vampy, bitchy types—there's still a big pushback against the idea that women can be just pragmatically evil, bad, and selfish.
Flynn began writing novels during her free time while working for Entertainment Weekly. Her three books are—
♦ Sharp Objects (2006) revolves around a serial killer in Missouri and the reporter who returns to her Missouri hometown from Chicago to cover the event. Partly inspired by Dennis Lehane's 2001 Mystic River, the book deals with dysfunctional families, violence, and self-harm. It was shortlisted for the Mystery Writers of America Edgar in 2007 for Best First Novel by an American Writer. It won the Crime Writers' Association "New Blood" and "Ian Fleming Steel Daggers" awards.
♦ Dark Places (2009) centers on a woman investigating her brother who was convicted in the 1980s, when she was only a child, of murdering their parents.The book explores the era's satanic rituals and was adapted into a 2015 film. Flynn makes a cameo appearance in the film.
♦ Gone Girl (2012) concerns a couple, the wife of which disappears on their fifth wedding anniversary, and her husband who comes under police scrutiny as the prime suspect.
The novel hit No. 1 on the New York Times Hardcover Fiction Bestseller list for eight weeks. Times culture writer Dave Itzkoff wrote that the novel was, except for the Fifty Shades of Grey series, the biggest literary phenomenon of 2012. By the end of that year, Gone Girl had sold over two million copies (print and digital).
After selling the film rights for $1.5 million, Flynn wrote the Gone Girl screenplay. The 2014 film, starring Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike, was released to popular and critical acclaim.
Flynn was an avid reader of comic and graphic novels when she was a child. She collaborated with illustrator Dave Gibbons and wrote a comic book story called "Masks," as part of the Dark Horse Presents series. It came out in 2015.
Flynn agreed to write the scripts for Utopia, an forthcoming HBO drama series adapted from the acclaimed British series Utopia. The HBO series is to be directed and executive produced by David Fincher, who also directed Gone Girl.
She married lawyer Brett Nolan in 2007. They met through Flynn's grad school classmate at Northwestern but did not start dating until Flynn, then in her mid-30s, moved back to Chicago from New York City. The couple still resides in Chicago with their two children. (Adapted from Wikipedia. Retrieved 10/13/2015.)
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