Reinerová grew up in a German-speaking Jewish family, her mother a German-Bohemian from Saaz (Žatec) and her father an ironware dealer from Prague. Prior to World War II, she worked as a translator, an interpreter and an editor for the Arbeiter-Illustrierte-Zeitung. She fled to Paris in 1938 and later travelled to Morocco. She was visiting Mexico with the journalist and writer Egon Erwin Kisch in March of 1939, and was the only member of her family to survive the Holocaust. She returned to what was then Czechoslovakia after 1948. In the 1950's, she was jailed by Czechoslovakia's Stalinist authorities and spent 15 months in prison, experiences recorded in one of her novels, Alle Farben der Sonne und der Nachtand. After her release she published sporadically. After 1968, she was not allowed to publish at all until the fall of Communism. Her works are mostly published at Aufbau Verlagsgruppe, Berlin.
On January 25, 2008, Lenka Reinerová deliverd a speech in the German Bundestag, which was part of an hour of rememberance for the victims of the NS-Regime.