Gillian Flynn

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Gillian Flynn
Gillian Flynn 2014 (cropped).jpg
Flynn at the 52nd New York Film Festival, September 2014
Born (1971-02-24) February 24, 1971 (age 43)
Kansas City, Missouri, U.S.
Occupation Author
Nationality American
Alma mater University of Kansas
Medill School of Journalism
Period 2007–present
Genre Fiction
Notable works
Spouse Brett Nolan (m. 2007)
Children 2

Gillian Flynn (born February 24, 1971) is an American author and former television critic for Entertainment Weekly.[1] Flynn has published three novels: Sharp Objects (2006), Dark Places (2009), and Gone Girl (2012).[2]

Early life and education[edit]

Flynn was born in Kansas City, Missouri and raised in midtown Kansas City's Coleman Highlands neighborhood.[3][4] Both of her parents were college professors at Metropolitan Community College–Penn Valley: her father, Matt, was a film professor and her mother, Judith (née Schieber), was a reading-comprehension professor.[4][5][6] She has an older brother, Travis, who is a railroad machinist.[4] Her uncle is Jackson County Circuit Court Judge Robert Schieber.[4] Flynn was "painfully shy" and found escape in reading and writing.[4] Growing up, Flynn's father would take her to movie theaters and watch horror movies.[4][5]

Flynn attended Bishop Miege High School and graduated in 1989.[4][7] She 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 and attend Northwestern.[8] She earned a Master's degree from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism in 1997.[9][10] Flynn initially wanted to work as a police reporter, but chose to focus on writing as she had "no aptitude" for police reporting.[11][12]


After graduating from Northwestern, Flynn worked freelance briefly at U.S. News & World Report before being hired as a feature writer in 1998 at Entertainment Weekly.[4] She was promoted to television critic and wrote about films, but was laid off in December 2008.[4][12][13][14]


When Flynn was working for Entertainment Weekly, she was also writing novels during her free time.[6] She has written 3 books.

  • Dark Places (2009) is about a woman who investigates whether or not her incarcerated brother was truly responsible for the murder of their family in the 1980s, which happened when she was a child during the era of panic about Satanic ritual abuse. Dark Places has been adapted into a feature film, written and directed by Gilles Paquet-Brenner, and is set for release in the US on November 14, 2014. Flynn will make a cameo appearance in the film.[16]
  • Gone Girl (2012) was released in June 2012 and concerns a husband who searches for his wife, who disappeared on their fifth wedding anniversary, while he comes under police scrutiny as the prime suspect. Flynn wrote the script for a film adaptation of Gone Girl after 20th Century Fox purchased the film rights for $1.5 million.[17] The film was directed by David Fincher[18] and was released on October 3, 2014.

In 2007, Sharp Objects was shortlisted for the Mystery Writers of America Edgar for Best First Novel by an American Writer, Crime Writers' Association Duncan Lawrie, CWA New Blood and Ian Fleming Steel Daggers, winning in the last two categories.[9]

Some critics have accused Flynn of misogyny due to the often unflattering depiction of female characters in her books.[2] She has responded to the accusations by stating that she felt that the idea that women are "innately good, innately nurturing" put a "very, very small window on what feminism is". Flynn also said people will dismiss "trampy, vampy, bitchy types – but there's still a big pushback against the idea that women can be just pragmatically evil, bad, and selfish".[2]

Television writing[edit]

In February 2014, it was reported that Flynn will be writing the scripts for Utopia, an HBO drama series to be directed and executive produced by David Fincher.[19]

Personal life[edit]

Flynn married lawyer Brett Nolan in 2007[20] and they have two children.[6][21] They live in Chicago, Illinois.[2]


  1. ^ "Author Gillian Flynn finds 'Dark Places' in KC". Retrieved June 1, 2009. [dead link]
  2. ^ a b c d Burkeman, Oliver (May 1, 2013). "Gillian Flynn on her bestseller Gone Girl and accusations of misogyny". The Guardian. 
  3. ^ McClurg, Jocelyn (September 27, 2006). "New voices: Gillian Flynn makes thriller debut". USA Today. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i Paul, Steve (November 11, 2012). "Kansas City native Gillian Flynn emerges as a literary force with her twisted mystery 'Gone Girl'". The Kansas City Star. Archived from the original on October 4, 2014. Retrieved October 11, 2014. 
  5. ^ a b Parsi, Novid (February 7, 2013). "Gillian Flynn on Gone Girl - Interview". TimeOut. Retrieved October 11, 2014. 
  6. ^ a b c Anolik, Lili (October 10, 2014). "INSIDE THE DANGEROUS MIND OF GONE GIRL’S GILLIAN FLYNN". Elle. Retrieved October 11, 2014. 
  7. ^ "Alumni Notes". Miege Matters. Winter 2013. p. 12. Retrieved October 11, 2014. 
  8. ^ Lewis, Keith (October 20, 2013). "'Gone Girl' author talks about her Missouri roots". Southeast Missourian. Retrieved October 11, 2014. 
  9. ^ a b "Gillian Flynn wins with Sharp Objects". The CWA. Archived from the original on November 6, 2013. Retrieved January 23, 2008. 
  10. ^ Zakrzewski, Cat (October 1, 2012). "Medill alumna sells screen rights to best-selling novel". The Daily Northwestern. Retrieved October 11, 2014. 
  11. ^ Thigpen, David E. (October 29, 2006). "Police beat's loss is book readers' gain". Chicago Tribune. 
  12. ^ a b Butta, Philup (January 25, 2011). "How a Medillian ended up writing about "Satanic Sacrifice"". North by Northwestern. Retrieved October 11, 2014. 
  13. ^ Thomas, Mike (July 16, 2012). "‘Gone Girl’ puts Chicago author Gillian Flynn in the thriller elite". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved October 11, 2014. 
  14. ^ Nance, Kevin (July 28, 2012). "Peeking in Gillian Flynn's vault of horror". Retrieved October 11, 2014. 
  15. ^ Charney, Noah (November 21, 2012). "Gillian Flynn: How I Write". The Daily Beast. Retrieved October 12, 2014. 
  16. ^ Lee, Stephan (January 10, 2014). "'Dark Places' preview: Charlize Theron on playing the 'complicated' Libby Day". Entertainment Weekly. 
  17. ^ Butler, Robert W. (September 27, 2014). "Author Gillian Flynn says filming ‘Gone Girl’ went much better than expected". The Kansas City Star. Retrieved October 12, 2014. 
  18. ^ Nordyke, Kimberly (November 30, 2012). "Hollywood's Most Powerful Authors: Gillian Flynn on Adapting 'Gone Girl,' Being Too 'Wimpy' for Crime Reporting and Her Best Advice to Writers (Q&A)". The Hollywood Reporter. 
  19. ^ Goldberg, Lesley (February 12, 2014). "'Utopia' Remake From 'Gone Girl's' David Fincher, Gillian Flynn Gets HBO Series Order". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved October 12, 2014. 
  20. ^ "Sunday Morning: Gillian Flynn Female Characters & Gone Girl Movie". ReCapo. Retrieved October 12, 2014. 
  21. ^ Tauber, Michelle (October 3, 2014). "5 Things to Know About Gone Girl Author Gillian Flynn". People. Retrieved October 11, 2014. 

External links[edit]