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Gillian Flynn          

Author & Former TV Critic for Entertainment Weekly; Known for the Hit "Gone Girl"

Gillian Flynn was born in Kansas City, Missouri, to two community-college professors—her mother taught reading; her father, film. Thus she spent an inordinate amount of her youth nosing through books and watching movies. She has happy memories of having "A Wrinkle in Time" pried from her hands at the dinner table, and also of seeing "Alien," "Psycho" and "Bonnie and Clyde" at a questionable age (like, 7). It was a good childhood.

In high-school, she worked strange jobs that required her to do things like wrap and unwrap hams, or dress up as a giant yogurt cone. A yogurt cone who wore a tuxedo. Why the tuxedo? It was a question that would haunt her for years.

For college, she headed to the University of Kansas, where she received her undergraduate degrees in English and journalism.

After a two-year stint writing about human resources for a trade magazine in California, Flynn moved to Chicago. There she earned her master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University and discovered that she was way too wimpy to make it as a crime reporter.

On the other hand, she was a movie geek with a journalism degree—so she moved to New York City and joined Entertainment Weekly magazine, where she wrote happily for 10 years, visiting film sets around the world (to New Zealand for "The Lord of the Rings," to Prague for "The Brothers Grimm," to somewhere off the highway in Florida for "Jackass: The Movie"). During her last four years at EW, Flynn was the TV critic (all-time best TV show: "The Wire").

Flynn’s 2006 debut novel, the literary mystery "Sharp Objects," was an Edgar Award finalist and the winner of two of Britain’s Dagger Awards—the first book ever to win multiple Daggers in one year. The film version is in development.

Flynn’s second novel, the 2009 New York Times bestseller "Dark Places," was a New Yorker Reviewers’ Favorite, Weekend TODAY Top Summer Read, Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2009, and Chicago Tribune Favorite Fiction choice. The film adaptation starring Charlize Theron hits theaters in September, 2014.

Flynn’s third novel, "Gone Girl," was released in 2012 and is Flynn's most popular work yet. The film based on the novel starring Ben Affleck and directed by the acclaimed David Fincher will hit theaters one month after "Dark Places." Flynn serves as the screenwriter on "Gone Girl."

Her first published short story, "What Do You Do?" will be featured in the George R.R. Martin anthology "Rouges" (June 2014).

Flynn’s work has been published in 28 countries. She lives in Chicago with her husband, Brett Nolan, their son, and a giant black cat named Roy. In theory she is working on her next novel. In reality she is possibly playing Ms. Pac-Man in her basement lair.

Speech Topics

Sharp Objects, Dark Places, and Gone Girls: An Evening with Gillian Flynn

In this talk, Gillian Flynn discusses her writing process, touching upon how she constructs her nail-biting thrillers, and how she builds her complex and disturbing female protagonists. This program, which can be structured as either a lecture or an onstage interview, covers all aspects of Flynn’s work, from plot, to character, to setting (including why the Midwest is an ideal region to set a mystery). Flynn also speaks about her life and work as a TV critic at Entertainment Weekly, and how it helped her develop her now full-time career as a mystery writer.


Gillian Flynn isn't writing “the next 'Gone Girl'”: “I feel like I need a ...

After two previous novels, Gillian Flynn catapulted to fame with 2012's bestselling “Gone Girl”; the movie, for which she wrote the screenplay, came out in 2014.

Gillian Flynn Has Sold Her Short Story The Grownup To Universal ...

Gillian Flynn, author of such blockbuster books as Gone Girl, Sharp Objects and Dark Spaces, has just sold the rights to her short story, The Grownup to ...

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