Ybarra was born into a politically active family in Vizcaya, in Spain. Her grandfather, Javier de Ybarra, was a former mayor of Bilbao, and fought on the side of the Nationalists during the Spanish Civil War. In 1977 he was kidnapped and murdered by members of the Basque separatist group, Eta.
Ybarra's book, The Dinner Guest, is a work of autofiction, based on her own family's history. She has drawn on the her grandfather's kidnap and murder by Basque separatists in 1977, as well as her family's experience of receiving bomb threats, and her mother, Ernestina Pasch's diagnosis with cancer, for the book. The book was published in Spanish in 2015, and was translated to English by Natasha Wimmer for publication in 2017.
- The Dinner Guest (translated from the Spanish by Natasha Wimmer) (Harville Secker)
- 2016 - The Dinner Guest won the Euskadi de Literatura in Spain.
- 2018 - The Dinner Guest was nominated for the International Booker Prize.
- "The Dinner Guest | The Booker Prizes". thebookerprizes.com. Retrieved 2020-09-20.
- Lea, Richard (2018-04-11). "Terror hits home: Gabriela Ybarra on the family stories behind her novel". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2020-09-20.
- "The Dinner Guest by Gabriela Ybarra". World Literature Today. 2019-12-13. Retrieved 2020-09-20.
- "The Interview: Gabriela Ybarra – Wilma Journal". Retrieved 2020-09-20.
- EFE (2018-10-27). "Gabriela Ybarra: "Necesitaba dar sentido a la muerte de mi madre y mi abuelo"". ElDiario.es (in Spanish). Retrieved 2020-09-20.
- "Imagining Truths: In Conversation with Gabriela Ybarra - Asymptote Blog". Retrieved 2020-09-20.