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Gillian Flynn, an Author of the Macabre

MeDhat SaaDoun By MeDhat SaaDoun Published on November 26, 2015

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Gillian Flynn is the American author who captivated the world with her 2012 novel Gone Girl. She grew up in Kansas City and attended the University of Kansas, where she graduated with bachelor degrees in journalism and English. Influenced by her father’s work as a community­college professor of cinema, her mother’s reading and her own peculiar imagination, Flynn grew to love movies and books. This certainly had something to do with her eventual decision to work for Entertainment Weekly as a television critic.

In 2006, Flynn published her first novel, Sharp Objects, to great acclaim, most notably from Stephen King, who said that Flynn “is the real deal, a sharp, acerbic, and compelling storyteller with a knack for the macabre.” A year after its publication, Sharp Objects won two Dagger Awards in the UK and was shortlisted for the Edgar Award. Sharp Objects is currently being turned into a TV series.

Three years after her debut novel was published, Flynn released her second, Dark Places. Like Sharp Objects, the novel is driven by disturbing themes and inhabited by unlikeable characters, especially the women. In many of her interviews, Flynn has reflected that writing about malevolent women is one of her interests as an author. Dark Places has also been highly praised, most notably by Publishers Weekly, as one of its Best Books of 2009, and The New Yorker, as one of its reviewers’ favorites. The movie version of the bestseller is already out, with Charlize Theron and Nicholas Hoult starring.

While working on her third book, Flynn was laid off at Entertainment Weekly because of the recession. This affected not only her life but that of her characters as well. In 2012, Flynn published one of the world’s most celebrated and talked­about thrillers, Gone Girl. The book has sold more than eight and a half million copies and received favorable reviews from The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly. It was nominated for the Edgar Award for Best Novel and also ranked among Amazon’s and Barnes & Noble’s Best of the Year. Two years after its publication, a major motion picture directed by David Fincher (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) and based on a script written by Flynn herself, was released. It starred Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike.

The movie was a hit at the box office, both in the US and internationally. Rosamund Pike was nominated for the Oscar for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role, while Flynn and David Fincher were nominated for the Golden Globes for Best Screenplay and Best Director respectively.

More recently, a short story by Flynn appeared in the anthology Rogues, edited by George R. R. Martin. Her next literary projects, as she explains on Reddit, are a YA novel and an adult book. She describes the latter as a “big, sprawling American folkloric tale of murder.” She is also collaborating, as scriptwriter, with David Fincher on the remake of Utopia for HBO. 

Flynn lives with her husband, Brett Nolan, and two children in Chicago.



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