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“I’ve thrived on both sides of the Atlantic,” he said. ” He’d reached a mass readership with a first novel that, he said, had honored E. Forster’s exhortation in “Howards End”: “Only connect.” Mallory described himself as a man “of discipline and compassion.”Mallory also explained that he had come to accept that he was attractive—or “semi-fit to be viewed by the semi-naked eye.” On a trip to China, he had been told so by his “host family.” At a Such storytelling is hardly scandalous. (And he never “worked with” Tina Fey at Little, Brown, as an official biography of Mallory claimed; a representative for Fey recently said that “he was not an editor in any capacity on Tina’s book.”)Moreover, according to many people who know him, Mallory has a history of imposture, and of duping people with false stories about disease and death.Mallory was taking his first steps as a public figure. He said that he had taught at Oxford University, where he had received a doctorate. Long before he wrote fiction professionally, Mallory was experimenting with gothic personal fictions, apparently designed to get attention, bring him advancement, or to explain away failings.I recently called a senior editor at a New York publishing company to discuss the experience of working with Mallory. Unusually, the application included an extended personal statement.
Now thirty-nine, Mallory lives in New York, in Chelsea.
He spent much of the past year travelling—Spain, Bulgaria, Estonia—for interviews and panel discussions.
He repeated entertaining, upbeat remarks about his love of Alfred Hitchcock and French bulldogs.
When he made an unscheduled appearance at a gathering of bloggers in São Paulo, he was greeted with pop-star screams.
He dedicated it to a man he has described as an ex-boyfriend, and secured a blurb from Stephen King: “One of those rare books that really is unputdownable.” Mallory was profiled in the best-seller list at No.
1—the first time in twelve years that a début novel had done so.Translation rights have been acquired in more than forty foreign markets. Jonathan Karp, the publisher of Simon & Schuster, recently recalled that Mallory, as a junior colleague in the New York book world, had been “charming, brilliant,” and a “terrific writer of e-mail.” Tess Gerritsen, the crime writer, met Mallory more than a decade ago, when he was an editorial assistant; she remembers him as “a charming young man” who wrote deft jacket copy.Craig Raine, the British poet and academic, told me that Mallory had been a “charming and talented” graduate student at Oxford; there, Mallory had focussed his studies on Patricia Highsmith’s Tom Ripley novels, which are about a charming, brilliant impostor.One evening in September, in Christchurch, New Zealand, Mallory sat down in the bar of the hotel where he and other guests of a literary festival were staying.Tom Scott, an editorial cartoonist and a screenwriter, was struck by Mallory’s self-assurance, which reminded him of Sam Shepard’s representation of Chuck Yeager, the test pilot, in the film “The Right Stuff.” “He came in wearing the same kind of bomber jacket,” Scott said recently, in a fondly teasing tone. He sat down and plonked one leg over the arm of his chair, and swung that leg casually, and within two minutes he’d mentioned that he had the best-selling novel in the world this year.” Mallory also noted that he’d been paid a million dollars for the movie rights to “The Woman in the Window.” Scott said, “He was enjoying his success so much.A film adaptation, starring Amy Adams and Gary Oldman, was shot in New York last year.Mallory has said that his second novel is likely to appear in early 2020—coinciding, he hopes, with the Oscar ceremony at which the film of “The Woman in the Window” will be honored.It was almost like an outsider looking in on his own success.”Mallory and Scott later appeared at a festival event that took the form of a lighthearted debate between two teams.The audience was rowdy; Scott recalled that, when it was Mallory’s turn to speak, he flipped the room’s mood.Dan Mallory, a book editor turned novelist, is tall, good-looking, and clever.His novel, “The Woman in the Window,” which was published under a lightly worn pseudonym, A. Finn, was the hit psychological thriller of the past year.