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.
- Adventures in Capitalism (collection of short stories, 1996, ISBN 0-14-100795-8)
- Beatniks (1997, ISBN 0-14-101793-7)
- Corpsing (2000, ISBN 0-14-028577-6)
- deadkidsongs (2001, ISBN 0-14-028578-4)
- Exhibitionism (collection of short stories, 2002, ISBN 0-14-100653-6)
- Finding Myself (2003, ISBN 0-14-100654-4)
- Ghost Story (2004, ISBN 0-241-14278-4)
- Hospital, (2007, ISBN 0-241-14280-6)
- I Play the Drums in a Band Called Okay (2008, ISBN 978-0-241-14282-0)
- Journey into Space (2009, ISBN 978-0-14-103971-8)
- King Death (2010, ISBN 978-0-14-103972-5)
- Life-Like (2014, ISBN 978-0857422071)
- Monster (in The Book of Other People, ed. Zadie Smith, 2007)
- Notes For A Young Gentleman (2018, ISBN 978-0857424853)
- O (short stories - exists)
- Patience (2019, ISBN 978-1910296998)
- Dead Boy Detectives (2014)
- "Results for 'au:Litt, Toby,' [WorldCat.org]". worldcat.org. Retrieved 12 July 2015.
- "Toby Litt". bbk.ac.uk. Retrieved 12 July 2015.
- "Toby Litt". British Council Literature. British Council. Retrieved 14 January 2016.
- School of the Black and Red, by A.G. Underwood (1980); updated (2010), p. 286
- "writers' hub - birkbeck". writers' hub. Retrieved 12 July 2015.
- Tadzio Koelb, "I Play the Drums in a Band Called okay", The Guardian 27 March 2009 
- New writing 13. worldcat.org. OCLC 57355906.
- "We Tell Stories - Authors: Toby Litt". wetellstories.co.uk. Retrieved 12 July 2015.
- Alison Flood. "Little-known Indian writer joins race for Oxford poetry professor". the Guardian. Retrieved 12 July 2015.
- Terri Paddock (9 June 2011). "Bush Inaugurates Library Home with 66 Books". WhatsOnStage.com. Retrieved 12 July 2015.
- Akam, Simon (16 April 2009). "Somewhere not here". New Statesman. Retrieved 29 February 2012.
- McKie, Andrew (14 March 2009). "The wide blue yonder". The Spectator. Archived from the original on 2 March 2012. Retrieved 29 February 2012.
- "BOOKS". 16 August 2013.