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Power Smackdown

Who is Chicago’s current literary superstar?

Gillian Flynn, the 44-year-old best-selling author of Gone Girl Veronica Roth, the 26-year-old behind the successful YA franchise Divergent
(per Forbes)
12th ($9 million in 2013) 6th ($17 million in 2013)
Weeks on the New York Times bestseller list
(print and e-books, as of January 24)
113 66
Number of books sold
8.5 million 20 million
The Northwestern factor
A journalism master’s with a focus on crime reporting enshrined a lifelong interest in thrillers. A writing professor who made fun of YA novels inspired Divergent’s villainous Erudite clan.
Film-version approval rating
by critics, per Rotten Tomatoes
88% 41%
Worldwide box-office sales
per Box OFfice Mojo
$367 million $289 million
Power move
She sold the film rights on the condition that she do the screenplay “to keep the tone right.” She landed her book deal while still in college.
The Winner: Flynn
Illustrations: John Kenzie


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