Author MJ Hyland
M.J Hyland is an ex-lawyer and the author of three multi-award-winning novels: How the Light Gets in (2004), Carry Me Down (2006) & This is How (2009). She is also a lecturer in Creative Writing in the Centre for New Writing at the University of Manchester.

MJ Hyland has a new agent - Jonny Geller at Curtis Brown. See here for contact details

MJ Hyland is represented by Curtis Brown Lit Agency for all rights including film rights.

M J Hyland is co-founder of The Hyland & Byrne Editing Firm, established September 2011. See:
For enquiries please email

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How the Light Gets in (2003) was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers' Prize (2004); Carry Me Down (2006) was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers' Prize (2006) and the Man Booker Prize (2006) and was winner of both the Hawthornden Prize and Encore Prize (2007); and This is How (2009) was longlisted for both the Orange Prize and the Dublin International IMPAC Prize (2009)

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This is How

'A novel of extraordinary power'
The Guardian

'Unflinching, absorbing, morally eerie, commanding book...a novel about crime but not a crime novel...thrilling, moving and compassionate.'
The New York Times

When his fiancée breaks off their engagement, Patrick Oxtoby leaves home and moves to a boarding house in a seaside town. But in spite of his hopes and determination to build a better life, nothing goes to plan and Patrick is soon driven to take a desperate and chilling course of action.

This is How is a mesmerising and meticulously drawn portrait of a man whose unease in the world leads to his tragic undoing. Written with breathtaking wisdom and an astute insight into the human mind, M.J. Hyland's new book is a masterpiece that inspires horror and sympathy in equal measure.

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To find out more about This is How click here

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Carry Me Down

'This is fiction of the Highest Order'
John Coetzee - Nobel Laureate

'Carry Me Down is uncompromising, unputdownable and done with expert lightness. It's a work of discreet brilliance. M.J. Hyland is a truly gifted writer.'
Ali Smith

John Egan is a misfit -"a twelve year old in the body of a grown man with the voice of a giant" - who diligently keeps a "log of lies." John's been able to detect lies for as long as he can remember. It's a source of power but also great consternation for a boy so young. With an obsession for the Guinness Book of Records, a keenly inquisitive mind, and a kind of faith, John remains hopeful despite the unfavorable cards life deals him.

This is one year in a boy's life. On the cusp of adolescence, from his changing voice and body to his parents' difficult travails and the near collapse of his sanity, John is like a tuning fork sensitive to the vibrations within himself and the trouble that this creates for him and his family.

Order CMD (2006) on Amazon or at The Book Depository

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To find out more about Carry Me Down click here

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How the Light Gets In

'Expect to be blown away'
The Guardian

'The best book I've read this year... Brilliantly written'
Scotland on Sunday

'Hyland is a talented writer grappling with serious questions about how we make our way through the world'
The New York Times

Louise Connor, a precocious and unhappy sixteen year-old is offered a place as an exchange student in the USA, something that she hopes will take her far away from her bleak life of poverty in Sydney, Australia. But not long after she moves in with her host-family, the Hardings - who live in a pre-fabricated mansion in a nameless Chicago suburb - Lou's acute need for acceptance and love runs up against the Harding's suffocating pursuit of a particular form of suburban perfection.

How The Light Gets In is a cleverly observed, complex portrait of a girl on the verge of adulthood whose world - like Holden Caulfield's before her - is full of mixed-messages.

Order HTLGI (2004) on Amazon or at The Book Depository

send an email to purchase a signed copy or a gift-wrapped copy.

To find out more about How the Light Gets In click here

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Prize Judging & Fiction Masterclasses

From 2008-2011, M.J Hyland was on the judging panel for the Somerset Maugham Prize. She was also a judge on the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize in 2011, & in 2012/13 she will be one of three judges for the Lightship First Chapter Award

M.J Hyland teaches fiction workshops for The Guardian Masterclass Programme and writes for The Guardian: How to Write Fiction series

Short Stories / Non-Fiction

M.J Hyland has published non-fiction in The London Review of Books (2004), The Irish Independent on Sunday (2005), The Scottish Herald (2010), Best Australian Essays (2006, 2008, 2009, 2011), The Financial Times (2011), Lonely Planet (2012), The Paris Review (online, 2011), The Sydney Morning Herald (2008, 2009, 2012), The Guardian (2009, 2010, 2011, & 2012), and elsewhere.

M.J Hyland's long essay 'Hardy Animal' appeared in The Observer Magazine, 12 August, 2012 & in Granta - Medicine, August, 2012

Her short stories have been published in Zoetrope: All Story (USA: 2004, 2005, 2006, 2008), Blackbook Magazine (2004, 2006 & 2007), Best Australian Essays & Short Stories (2006 & 2008) and her short story Rag Love, was shortlisted for the BBC National Short Story Award (2011).

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