Gavala was born in Koropi, Attica, in 1947. She studied history and archaeology at Athens University and worked as a teacher. As a member of the editorial team of Sychronos Kinimatografos (1980-84), she published many texts on cinema there and in other magazines and newspapers. She has written screenplays, made short films and television documentaries, and directed feature films: On Love (1981) won an award at the Women’s Cinema Festival in Florence in 1983; Aroma of Violet (1985); and The Magic Glass (1989), which won the State Cinema Prize the same year.
She has written six novels: The Servant of the Angels (1994), The Lady of the House (1996), Seaside Resort in Winter (1999), In the Cool of My Garden (2001), Extreme Weather Conditions (2003), and The Girls in the Square (2006).