Storywriter and novelist (b. 1 December 1931, İstanbul). She attended the Istanbul Kadıköy High School and left her studies at İstanbul University, Faculty of Literature, Department of English Language and Literature. She worked as a secretary, translator and type-writing clerk at Scandinavian Airlines (1953-55) and Ankara State Water Works (1956-57). Later on, she engaged herself completely with literature. She lived in İzmir for a while and then settled in İstanbul and served in the office of arts and culture of the Workers Party of Turkey. Writing has been her only occupation since then.1
Her first short story (Uğraşsız-without a Profession), was published in the review Seçilmiş Hikâyeler (1956) and her other works in Yelken, Yeditepe, Yeni Ufuklar, Dost, Dönem, Ataç, Papirüs, Türkiye Defteri, Güney, Soyut, Yeni A, Türk Dili, etc. She has been writing articles on the present problems of literature in the newspaper Demokrasi.
She handled the theme of woman in her stories, where she sought for new techniques of narration. She was given honorary membership by the Iowa University in the United States in 1979. She opposed the orthodox Marxists beginning in her first short stories and was criticized by some people for her attitude with her peculiar form of aesthetics in her works, where she benefited from the liberating elements of psychoanalysis against all kinds of taboos and bigotry. She received the Turkish Authors Association Honorary Award in 2000, the Ankara Short Story Days Honorary Award in 2001. She was nominated as the first Female Nobel Nominee by the PEN Association of Writers in 2002 and 2004, with her “deep knowledge of Turkish and literature and her disposition as a responsible intellectual to lie and to the world." She is one of the founders of the Artists Union of Turkey (1970) and Writers Syndicate of Turkey (1974) and a member of the PEN Association of Writers.
SHORT STORY: Hallaç (Cotton Fluffer, 1961), Gecede (At Night, 1969), Eski Sevgili (Old Lover, 1977).
NOVEL: Tuhaf Bir Kadın (A Strange Woman, 1971), Karanlığın Günü (Day of Darkness, 1985), Mektup Aşkları (Lovers by Letters, 1988).
LETTER: Tezer Özlü'den Leylâ Erbil'e Mektuplar (Letters from Tezer Özlü to Leyla Erbil, 1995).
ESSAY: Zihin Kuşları (Birds of Mind, 1997), Karanlığın Günü (Day of Darkness, 2002).
NARRATION: Cüce: Girdap Metin (Dwarf: An Anaphoric Text, 2001).
REFERENCE: Asım Bezirci / 1950 Sonrasında Hikâyecilerimiz (1980), Talat Sait Halman / Karanlığın Günü (Adam Sanat, Kasım 1987), İhsan Işık / Yazarlar Sözlüğü (1990, 1998) - Türkiye Yazarlar Ansiklopedisi (2001, 2004) – Encyclopedia of Turkish Authors (2005) - Resimli ve Metin Örnekli Türkiye Edebiyatçılar ve Kültür Adamları Ansiklopedisi (2007) – Ünlü Edebiyatçılar (Türkiye Ünlüleri Ansiklopedisi, C. 4, 2013) - Encyclopedia of Turkey’s Famous People (2013), Ömer Lekesiz / Yeni Türk Edebiyatında Öykü - 3 (1999), Füsun Akatlı / Leylâ Erbil Meydan Okuyor (Cumhuriyet Kitap Eki, 22.2.2002), Orhan Koçak / Çilekeşin Arzusu (Virgül Dergisi, sayı: 57, 2002), Mahmut Temizyürek / Kırbaç Metin (Varlık, Haziran 2002), - Leylâ Erbil İşaretleri (Varlık, Mart 2004), Sezer Ateş Ayvaz / Leyla Erbil’in ‘Cüce’si Tarihsel Varoluşun Seyirliği (Hürriyet Gösteri, Ocak 2005), Türkiye Yazarlar Birliği / Türkiye Kültür Sanat Yıllığı (2014), Ayfer Tunç / Cumhuriyetin 91’inci yılında 91 sembol kadın (kadinlarkulubu.com, 30 Ekim 2014).