Maria Jotuni was born Maria Haggrén in Kuopi, Finlalnd and studied literature with the aim of becoming a teacher. She began her literary career writing short stories, some of which were developed into plays. Her first published work was Suhteital (Relationships, 1905), a collection of stories dealing with contemporary village life. She adopted the pen name Maria Jotuni in 1906 after beginning work as a journalist. She also produced the collection entitled Tytto ruusutarhassa (The Girl in the Rose Arbor, 1927). Her breakthrough play was Miehen kylkiluu (Man's Rib, 1914), a comedy that follows parallel love adventures in two different layers of society. Her other plays included Vanka koti (The Old Home, 1910) and Kultainen vvasikka (The Golden Calf, 1918). In 1911, she married Viljo Tarkiainen, a literary critic with whom she had two children. Maria Jotuni is considered the most significant Finnish playwright of her time. Her posthumous novel, Huojuva talo (The Tottering House, 1963), also has been adapted for the theater several times.