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, seven). 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 yoghurt cone. A yoghurt 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 (go Jayhawks), 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. Movie rights have been sold.
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. In 2015, the movie adaptation starring Charlize Theron was released.
Flynn’s third novel, Gone Girl, was an international sensation and a runaway hit that has spent more than one hundred weeks on the New York Times bestseller lists. Gone Girl was named one of the best books of the year by People Magazine and Janet Maslin at the New York Times. Nominated for both the Edgar Award and the Anthony Award for Best Novel, Flynn wrote the screenplay for David Fincher’s 2014 adaptation of Gone Girl for the big screen, starring Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike.
Her newest release, The Grownup, is an Edgar Award-winning short story and an homage to the classic ghost story. This is the first time it is being published as a standalone.
Flynn’s work has been published in forty-one languages. She lives in Chicago with her husband, Brett Nolan, their children, 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.