Marie Majerová was born in Úvaly in Bohemia, now part of the Czech Republic, to working-class parents, and grew up in Kladno. At age 16, she began working as a domestic servant in Budapest but went on to complete her education in Prague, Paris and Vienna. She joined the Czechoslovak Communist Party at its inception in 1921 and was also involved in the feminist movement. In 1907, she published her first collection of stories, Povídky z pekla a jiné (Stories from Hell and Other Stories) and a novel, Panenství (Maidenhood), which was adapted into a 1937 Czech film (English title Virginity). She also wrote fiction for children, including The Miraculous Hour (1923) and the novels Bruno (1930) and A Girl Robinson (1940).
Her epic, multigenerational novel Siréna (The Siren) was the basis of a 1947 film (English title The Strike). She was married twice: first to Josef Stivín, a journalist, and then to Slavoboj Tusar, a graphic artist. She's considered one of the founders of socialist realism in Czech literature.