Litt was born in Ampthill in 1968. He was educated at Bedford Modern School, read English at Worcester College, Oxford and studied Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia where he was taught by Malcolm Bradbury.
A short story by Toby Litt was included in the anthology All Hail the New Puritans (2000), edited by Matt Thorne and Nicholas Blincoe, and he has edited The Outcry (2001), Henry James's last completed novel, for Penguin in the UK. In 2003 he was nominated by Granta magazine as one of the 20 'Best of Young British Novelists', although his work since then has met with mixed reviews, one reviewer in the Guardian writing that his novel I Play the Drums in a Band Called Okay "goes on ... and on, and on. There is plenty of story here, but little plot, and no tension." He edited the 13th edition of New Writing (the British Council's annual anthology of the finest contemporary writing in fiction, non-fiction and poetry) and is known for naming his books in alphabetical order.
Litt wrote an interactive short story, using LiveJournal and Twitter, as part of the Penguin We Tell Stories project. He is currently a lecturer in Creative Writing at Birkbeck, University of London and led the campaign to get Arvind Mehrotra elected to the Oxford Professor of Poetry following Ruth Padel's resignation. In 2011, he took part in the Bush Theatre's Sixty Six Books project where he wrote a piece based upon a book of the King James Bible.
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