Born in London to Irish parents in June 1968, Maria Joan Hyland spent her early childhood in Dublin before relocating to Melbourne, Australia at the age of 11.
M J Hyland has been shortlisted for her second novel
After completing an Arts and Law degree at the University of Melbourne in 1996, she worked as a lawyer for six years.
Her first novel, 2004's How the Light Gets In, was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers' Prize and saw her named best Australian novelist by the Sydney Morning Herald.
The same year she completed a MA in English at the University of Melbourne.
Currently based in Manchester, Hyland - who publishes using her initials - began writing short stories before turning her hand to novels.
She also edited the literary magazine Nocturnal Submissions for a number of years.
The Booker-nominated Carry Me Down, her second novel, tells of a man whose ability to know when people are lying has destructive consequences for his family.