A.J. Finn is a professional fantasist and a personal fabulist; a man who lives a life of facades and false stories in every corner of his life.
Under such circumstances, you won’t be surprised to hear that A.J. Finn isn't even his real name - it's Dan Mallory.
The true story of the bestselling author has captivated the literary world for the past few years. Mallory himself has admitted to his own web of lies, after a New Yorker article exposed the intricate details of his inane fabrications in an investigative piece last year.
Dan Mallory wrote the bestselling thriller ‘The Woman in the Window’ under the pseudonym A.J. Finn. In 2018, his first novel debuted at number one on the New York Times best-seller list. It has since sold over three million copies, and was adapted into a feature film, released this year, starring critically acclaimed actors Amy Adams and Gary Oldman.
Watch the trailer for 'The Woman in the Window' feature film here. Post continues below.
But on his way to the top of the literary world, Mallory told lies to everyone from his bosses to his friends.
Here’s what we know about the writer’s lies.
Dan Mallory’s personal and professional life and lies.
The New Yorker article by Ian Parker dives deep into Mallory’s complicated past.
Mallory reportedly told employers he had received a PhD at Oxford, however when the publication contacted the University for confirmation, they said he graduated with a master’s degree in 2004, but never completed a doctoral degree.
It’s also alleged that he said during a job interview at Little, Brown - an American publishing company - that he was previously an editor at Ballantine. In reality, he worked as an assistant there. The author got the job nevertheless, and later said he had been offered another position at a rival company, which led to Little, Brown giving him a pay raise. No such offer from a competitor had been made, his bosses later discovered. Upon his employers’ revelation, Mallory promptly left, although the terms of his departure remain private.
Before he’d left the building, he had already secured another job as the executive editor at William Morrow, another American publishing company.
Behind the string of professional fabrications was even more concerning lies about his personal life, from illness to death.