Best-selling author Dan Mallory admits he lied about having cancer

The US-novelist said he fabricated having the disease to cover his mental health issues

Dan Mallory, also known as A J Finn, last month admitted to having invented a high-flying publishing career and fictitious battle with cancer. Photo: Sebastiaan ter Burg
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Dan Mallory is the writer behind The Woman in the Window, one of the bestselling thrillers of 2018. The story is about Anna, a woman who spends her days spying on her neighbours. It has already been bought by 20th Century Fox with a movie set to star Amy Adams being released this October.

Written under his pen name A.J. Finn — constructed from his cousin’s first name and that of a pet bulldog – it has now been revealed that the author's pseudonym isn’t the only false information in this story.

Last week, an investigation by The New Yorker that alleged Mallory has engaged in a lifetime of deception, including falsely telling people he had cancer, went viral.

The author has now released a statement in response to the story in which he confirms that on numerous occasions he had “stated, implied or allowed others to believe that I was afflicted with a physical malady instead of a psychological one: cancer, specifically.”

He said he has bipolar II disorder, which he says drove him to do things out of character, including telling people he had brain cancer to hide his mental health problems.

The reaction on Twitter has been mixed with some users who also have bipolar disorder disagreeing with his reasoning and others calling for more understanding around mental health.

Despite the revelation, Mallory’s publisher HarperCollins has confirmed that they will proceed with plans for AJ Finn’s second novel, scheduled for January 2020. The coming plot involves a female thriller writer and an interviewer who learns of a dark past.