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How the Light Gets In MJ Hyland


Carry Me Down MJ Hyland


MJ Hyland - Essay

'HARDY ANIMAL' Granta Magazine Issue 120: Medicine

MJ Hyland - Story

'EVEN PRETTY EYES COMMIT CRIMES' The Best British Short Stories 2013

MJ Hyland - Essay

'ON BECOMING A MORMON & OTHER MADNESSES' The Best Australian Essays: A Ten-Year Collection

MJ Hyland - Story

'A BOY, AN EX-ORPHANAGE & A TRAPPED DOG' Zoetrope All-Story Vol.10, No.3

MJ Hyland - Essay

'THE THIEVES OF ROME' Better Than Fiction: True Travel Tales From Great Fiction Writers

MJ Hyland - Essay

'HOW I EVADED ARREST ON A PLATFORM IN THE NORTH OF ENGLAND' True Adventures From 30 Great Fiction Writers

MJ Hyland - Essay

'FAKE PAINTINGS' The Paris Review

MJ Hyland - Story

'EGGSHELL SKULL' Zoetrope All-Story. Vol. 12, No.1

MJ Hyland - Essay


MJ Hyland - Story

'RAG LOVE' BBC National Short Story Award 2011 Audiobook

MJ Hyland - Essay

'HOW TO EAT FOR FREE IN HELSINKI' A Fork in the Road: Tales of Food, Pleasure and Discovery On the Road

MJ Hyland - Interview

'TOM WAITS KICKS MY ASS' Rock Country: The Sounds, Bands, Fans, Fun & Other Stuff that Happened

MJ Hyland - Essay

'TRIAL BY INTERNET' The Best Australian Essays 2011

MJ Hyland - Story

'EVEN PRETTY EYES COMMIT CRIMES' The BBC International Short Story Award 2012

MJ Hyland - Story

'A SLEEPING SERIAL KILLER' Spindles: Stories From the Science of Sleep

MJ Hyland - Story

'EVEN PRETTY EYES COMMIT CRIMES' The Story: 100 Great Short Stories

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"Expect to be blown away by M.J. Hyland"


"A complete original"


"This is writing of the highest order"


Edited Image 2016-02-18 13-44-58


M.J. Hyland in conversation with Michael Williams at the Melbourne Writers Festival

M.J. Hyland with Trevor Byrne, teaching at Faber Academy, London

MJ Hyland and Trevor Byrne, Faber Academy

M.J. Hyland discusses the publication of Harper Lee's Go Set A Watchman (BBC1/BBC News)

M.J. Hyland is an ex-lawyer and the author of three multi-award-winning novels: How the Light Gets In (shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers' Prize); Carry Me Down (shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers' Prize and the Booker Prize, and winner of the Encore Prize and the Hawthornden Prize); and This Is How (longlisted for the Orange Prize and the Dublin International IMPAC Prize).  Her short fiction has been shortlisted  or longlisted  for the BBC Short Story Awards 2011 & 2012, and the Sunday Times EFG Short Story Award.


Hyland has written for, among others, the Paris Review, the Guardian, the Manchester Review, Film International, the Financial Times (her essay, 'The Trial of Mary Bale', also features in Best Australian Essays 2011, as 'Trial by Internet'), Granta ('Hardy Animal', originally published in Granta 120: Medicine, was shortlisted for the inaugural William Hazlitt Essay Prize), and is a reviewer of books, films and plays for BBC Radio 4 and the Monthly.


Hyland has led writing workshops for the Faber Academy (London), Guardian Masterclasses (London & Manchester) the Irish Writers' Centre (Dublin), Curtis Brown Creative (London), Arizona State University's Workshop Programme, Stockholm University, Griffith University (South East Queensland, Australia)  and more, and has been a senior lecturer at The Centre for New Writing (University of Manchester) since 2007. 


In 2011, Hyland co-founded, with author Trevor Byrne, the Hyland & Byrne Editing Firm. For more, you can browse the Firm's site below, or go directly to


For more on M.J. Hyland and her writing, see 'Trojan Mules of Meaning', a conversation via 'miniature essays' with David Gavan (Tin House), and Hyland's thoughts on writing from a killer's perspective (ABC Radio, with Jeff Lindsay, author of  the books behind the Dexter TV series). In 'The Drugs Do Work' (the Guardian), Hyland looks at the history and usage of neuroenhancers ('smart drugs'), and discusses her own experiences with them, a topic she returns to in 'Controlling Our Health' (The Forum, BBC Radio 4). This is just a small sample of  the free written, audio and video content you can access online. Feel free to Google, or take a look at the M.J. Hyland Wikipedia article.


Workshops, events, publications



New 'Text Classics' edition with afterword by J.M. Coetzee.

"...Carry Me Down works by indirection. Its built-in irony is that the intelligence at its centre is not attuned to indirection." From the afterword by J.M. Coetzee.


"Uncompromising, unputdownble... it's a work of discreet brilliance.' Ali Smith


Originally aired on BBC Radio 4 on October 16th, 2016, you can now find and listen to Maria's story via the BBC's excellent online archive 'Sounds'.     

"The last of our commissioned short stories on the theme of rest and sleep for the series Balm of Hurt Minds. The writer M J Hyland, who is herself an ex lawyer, tells the story of a young policeman who is himself awaiting trial in prison. Can his defence of sleepwalking convince a court that he was in fact not in charge of his faculties? 

Even In Good Men is read by Trystan Gravelle - a Welsh actor who has recently appeared in the ITV drama Mr Selfridge as Victor Colleano."



M.J. Hyland's celebrated third novel This Is How ('unflinching, absorbing, morally complex... a novel about crime but not a crime novel' New York Times) features in Ezvid Wiki's '10 Great Thrillers that Feature Compelling Anti-Heroes'. Click here to watch the video. 

"For #2, we find M.J. Hyland's This Is How. Reeling from a sudden broken engagement, Patrick needs to find somewhere to unwind. He moves to a small seaside town and tries to live a normal, quiet life. Unfortunately, Patrick is far from normal. He's a sociopath dealing with crippling mental illness and is unable to find the help he needs. One desperate event is all it takes for him to become eclipsed by his dark side."





Best-selling author Mark Brandi leads the discussion on This is How by MJ Hyland.

"This Is How is a brooding, unforgettable novel by M.J. Hyland. It’s the story of Patrick Oxtoby, a young man who moves to a small English seaside town to escape the aftermath of a broken relationship. But a split-second decision will irrevocably alter the course of his life. While not widely regarded in the realm of crime fiction, it’s a genre defying, utterly compelling work that goes to the heart of why good people sometimes do terrible things."

Click here for more information.

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If you'd like to get in touch with M.J. Hyland, you can send her a message using the contact form below. Or if you prefer, follow her on Twitter and send her a Tweet.

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