Born in Ankara in 1977, she missed her hometown wherever she travelled and lived. She graduated from METU Department of Mining Engineering, but never worked as an engineer except during her summer internships. She obtained her master's degree from Department of Turkish Literature at Bilkent University in 2001, upon completing a dissertation on Suat Derviş. Between 2002-2008 she conducted PhD research in the Netherlands at Leiden University's Department of Literary Studies, and earned her PhD degree with a thesis on March 12 Novels. Since 2008, she teaches Turkish Literature courses at Özyeğin University and since 2009 she is the mother of Ali Liber.
Her fields of interest include gender and masculinity studies, disability studies, biography, and topics such as testimony in coup periods and fictionalization of history. She publishes in local and international journals on Turkish literature. Recently, Dr Günay-Erkol co-edited Dictionary of Literary Biography 373: Turkish Novelists Since 1960 (New York: Gale, 2013) with Burcu Alkan.