Diski was born in London. She lived with author Doris Lessing for four years after being abused by her parents. Diski studied at University College London. She worked as a teacher during the 1970s and early 1980s.
Diski was a regular contributor to the London Review of Books; the collections Don't and A View from the Bed. She won the 2003 Thomas Cook Travel Book Award for Stranger on a Train: Daydreaming and Smoking around America With Interruptions.
In June 2014, Diski was told that she had at three years to live. In September 2014, she revealed that she had been diagnosed with lung cancer. She died on 28 April 2016 in London from the disease, aged 68.
- Katharine Viner Obituary: Roger Diski, The Guardian, 8 March 2011.
- "Jenny Diski". British Council Literature. British Council. Retrieved 2016-01-26.
- Harvey, Giles (10 June 2015). "Jenny Diski's End Notes". The New York Times.
- Diski, Jenny (11 September 2014). "Memoir: A Diagnosis". London Review of Books.
- Flood, Alison "Author Jenny Diski, diagnosed with inoperable cancer, dies aged 68", The Guardian, 28 April 2016.