Gunhild "Margareta" Strömstedt, née Henriksson, was born in Småland, southern Sweden, where her father was a minister. She qualified as an elementary school teacher in Lund, and then graduated from university. In 1953, she married Bo Strömstedt, a newspaper editor, with whom she had two children. In the 1960s, she worked in children's theatre and was a literary critic and reviewer for the newspaper Dagens Nyheter. In 1969, she trained with Radio Sweden as a producer, a position she held until 1985. She wrote several children's books, including a prize-winning series about a girl called Majken, the first of which appeared in 1982. Her debut work of fiction for adults was the semi-autobiographical novel Julstädningen och döden (1980), which was followed by another volume called Församlingen under jorden, in 1990. She also wrote a biography of writer Astrid Lindgren (1977).