Leiby was much beloved in the literary community. (Here is an in memoriam page, which paints a picture of a fierce and honest firebrand.) Before taking over the Southern Review, she edited the Florida Review at the University of Central Florida.
The Independent's review of Leiby's strong debut collection concluded, "Some of the pieces in Downriver [...] feel like sketches for a novel, one that would shine a hard, bright light on a coal-dark place. Here's hoping she writes it." It's with regret that we have to report she'll never have the chance.