Gillian Flynn

American Author

Flynn’s work has won numerous awards and has been translated into more than 40 languages. She is also a critically acclaimed television writer, having written and produced shows such as Utopia and Sharp Objects.

Life Facts

  • Gillian Flynn was born in Kansas City, Missouri.
  • She went to the University of Kansas, where she studied English and journalism.
  • She worked for U.S. News & World Report for a short time.
  • She helped write the screenplay for the Gone Girl film.
  • She’s written three books so far.

Interesting Facts

  • Flynn was very shy as a child.
  • She spent time working at Entertainment Weekly.
  •  Despite criticism about her female characters, Flynn identifies as a feminist.
  • She’s running a book imprint for the publisher Zando.
  • She wrote several episodes of “The Undoing” on HBO.

Famous Books by Gillian Flynn

So far in her career, Flynn has written three novels and a few short stories.

Gone Girl  This 2012 novel is Flynn’s best-known piece of fiction (due to its adaption into a feature film). The book follows a married couple, Nick and Amy Dunne, neither of whom is happy in their marriage. On their 5th wedding anniversary, Amy goes missing, and the world turns against Nick, assuming that he murdered her.

Sharp Objects  This is another very well-known novel Flynn published. It was released in 2006 and followed the story of a serial killer living in a small Missouri town. The book was shortlisted for several crime awards and adapted into a miniseries in 2018.

Dark Places – Published in 2009, Dark Places is considered to be one of Gillian Flynn’s most famous novels. It follows another female protagonist who investigates her brother’s supposed crime. It, too, was adapted into a film (of the same name) with an all-star cast.

The Grownup – Published in 2015, this recent short story is one of Flynn’s only published pieces of short fiction. It was included in the Rogues anthology, a collection edited by George R.R. Martin. It follows the story of a sex worker who starts working as a fake psychic. She won the 2015 Edgar Award for the short story.

Early Life

Gillian Flynn was born in Kansas City, Missouri. Her parents were both professors at Metropolitan Community College–Penn Valley. She attended Bishop Miege High School and graduated in 1989.

She then attended the University of Kansas and received her undergraduate degrees in English and journalism. After that, she moved to Chicago and attended Northwestern University for a master’s degree at its Medill School of Journalism in 1997.

Initially, Flynn wanted to work as a police reporter but instead chose to focus on her own writing and went on to spend time working at different magazines and publications, including Entertainment Weekly and U.S. News & World Report.

Literary Career

Gillian Flynn is best known as the author of three critically acclaimed novels – Gone Girl, Dark Places, and Sharp Objects. Prior to her success in writing novels, she worked as a freelance writer for a short time at U.S. News & World Report and was later hired as a feature writer at Entertainment Weekly.

She also wrote several episodes of the television series “The Undoing,” which premiered on HBO, and contributed to the screenplay for the film adaptation of her novel Gone Girl.

In 2021, Flynn was announced to be running a book imprint for the newly founded independent publisher Zando.

As an author, she is widely praised (and criticized) for her cunning and complicated female characters, which often explore themes of gender roles and violence against women. While some have applauded her work for its realism and social commentary, others have accused Flynn of misogyny.

Work on Television

Since her career began, Flynn has been involved in the television and film adaptions of her novels. She helped write and produce the Sharp Objects series based on her novel that premiered on HBO in 2018. She also helped write scripts for Utopia, an HBO series that never came to fruition on the platform, instead premiering on Amazon Prime.

Impressively, she was nominated for an Academy Award for the work she did on the screenplay of Gone Girl. She also helped write a film adaption of the series Windows that premiered on ITV.

In 2007, Flynn married Brett Nolan, and the two have a son and daughter together. Flynn lives in Chicago with her family.

Influence from other Writers

Gillian Flynn has cited a number of authors as having a major influence on her work. Some of the most prominent authors that have inspired her work include Edgar Allan Poe, Stephen King, and Kurt Vonnegut.