Stephen Byler


Stephen Byler's first novel was a New York Times Notable book, a Booksense pick, and a Barnes and Noble Discover selection. He has worked as a bankruptcy counselor, a fly fishing guide, a creative writing instructor, and a legal Cuba travel consultant. He has an MA from Yale University and an MFA from Columbia University.


“Stephen Raleigh Byler’s Searching for Intruders returns us to the Hemingway of the Nick Adams stories. At their best, Byler’s stories are tersely eloquent and marked by a vivid exuberance.”

—Harold Bloom, author of The Anxiety of Influence

“Steve Byler’s work is starkly original. His unadorned prose creates a strong emotional tone that reverberates in the silence of the reader’s perception. He is one of those writers who can command the white space on the page, play the pedals, and leave the reader transformed. Mr. Byler is a young writer of great promise.

—Robert Stone, author of Damascus Gate

“Searching for Intruders is a stunning and innovative novel. At times harrowing, at times tender, Stephen Byler’s stories gather the life of a young man striving for emotional honesty in a bewildering and often brutal world. Byler’s prose—intense, poised, moving—is a remarkable achievement.”

—Maureen Howard, author of Big as Life

“Stephen Byler’s stories move with ease between shocking acts of physical and emotional violence and moments of quiet moral reflection. Searching for Intruders is a strong and distinctive debut.”

—Tom Perrotta, author of Little Children

“Byler’s debut is an alarmingly fresh entry into fictive reality.”

—Jim Harrison, author of Legends of the Fall

“Every once in a while a book comes along that’s truly unclassifiable: sad, but funny; segmented, but cohesive; dispassionate, but very, very personal. If it doesn’t work, it’s called ‘experimental.’ If it does, it’s termed ‘fresh,’ ‘original’, and even ‘transforming,’—all adjectives that apply to Stephen Raleigh Byler’s astounding debut novel, Searching for Intruders.”

—Barnes and Noble Discover Series

“Steve Byler’s haunting debut left me breathless. These stories, written in a deceptively conversational style, are precise, poignant, evocative, and sometimes very funny indeed.”

—Tim Cahill, author of Pass the Butterworms

“Byler’s debut is sparkling…it puts a modern spin on Hemingway. . . . [Byler] cuts his way through a hostile jungle, full of angry images of men…Enter the sensitive male in literature.”

—Denver Post

“Hypnotic...Heartrending...These stories of lives wasted and lives saved are acute, accurate, and painful. The prose is suffused with an intense dread of the inevitability of male violence and insensitivity…yet it remains furious at how men behave with women…examines what might be called a tragedy that, even at this late date, sensitivity still fits so poorly on modern American men....”

—The Hartford Courant

“Newcomer Byler’s 11 stories are like tightly fitting mosaic pieces, contributing individual luster to a vibrant collective pattern.”


“A dystopic vision of roadside America.”

—Publishers Weekly

"Stephen Byler is a terrific writer. Splinter is powerful, engaging, and hauntingly resonant."

--Kate Walbert, author of A Short History of Women

“Engaging. . . . Irresistible.”

—Minneapolis Star Tribune

“Initially, Byler’s bare-bones prose recalls the masculine toughness of Hemingway, but, as details accumulate, it becomes clear that the book is actually a cunning critique of macho conventions. . . . An impressive debut.”

—Library Journal

“Byler’s stories sound terrific right from the start. His take on a marriage in extremis is subtle and expert; so is his grasp of the skittery details. . . . Artful and affecting. . . ”