Leila S Chudori was born in Jakarta in December 1962 and began to write at a young age. Her first stories were published when she was just twelve in several children’s magazines. She also published several collections of stories when just a teen. Leila’s college education included stints at Lester B Pearson College of the Pacific (United World Colleges) in Victoria, Canada, and Trent University, also in Canada, where she studied political science and comparative development studies. Even while going to school, however, she continued to write and publish in the Indonesian literary journals as well as in Solidarity of the Philippines and Tenggara from Malaysia.
Her first collection of short stories for adults, Malam Terakhir, in 1989, was later translated and published in German, under the title Die Letzte Nacht by Horlemman Verlag. Since 1989 she has worked at Tempo weekly news magazine, first as a journalist and later as an editor. She is also a film critic and an award-winning screenplay writer.
In 2009, Leila published her most recent collection of stories, 9 from Nadira and in 2013, the Lontar Foundation published a collection of translations of her stories under the title The Longest Kiss. In 2012, Leila published
her first novel, Pulang [Home]. A year later, she was awarded the Khatulistiwa Literary prize for best prose work. Since then, between frequent appearances at literary events in Indonesia and abroad (Australia, Holland, France, and Malaysia), she has been working on two novels, one on the young Indonesian activists who “disappeared” in the months leading up to the downfall of President Soeharto in 1998, and the second a prequel to Home titled Namaku Alam (My name is Alam).