Aino Julia Maria Krohn was born to an intellectually distinguished family. Her mother was Maria Wilhelmina Lindroos Krohn and her father was Julius Krohn, a professor of Finnish Literature at the University of Helsinki, and a famous poet, folklorist, and nationalist. She made her debut as a poet at age 19 with Lauluja ja balladeja (1897) under the pen name Aino Suonio. In 1900, she married Oskar Kallas, a noted Estonian scholar and diplomat with whom she had five children. He was later appointed the first Estonian Minister to Helsinki. From 1900 to 1903, they lived in St. Petersburg. From 1922 to 1934, while her husband served as ambassador to Great Britain and The Netherlands, Aino Kallas wrote several of her major works. The Nazi occupation of Estonia in World War II forced the family into exile in Sweden, where Aino Kallas lived until 1953, when she returned to live in Helsinki. During her lifetime, she became one of the best known Finnish authors outside her own country as her works were translated into many languages, including English, French, German, and Italian. She published her diaries in the 1950s, revealing details and tragedies of her life, such as her affair with the poet Eino Leino. She won the State Prize for Literature in Finland several times, and also received the Lyceum Club Literature Prize in London.