Edith Unnerstad, née Totterman, was born in Helsinki, Finland, to Swedish parents. When she was 10 years old, the family returned to Sweden, settling in Sodertalje and then Stockholm. She attended Detthowska School and an art school in Stockholm. She wrote her first book at age 11. Three years later, she published two poems and a story in a magazine. In 1924, she married Arvid Unnerstad, a radio engineer, with whom she had a daughter. She finally achieved her dream of becoming a professional author at age 32, when she published her first children's book, Uffe reser jorden runt (Uffe Travels the World). She went on to publish many works of children and adult fiction and poetry, radio, television, and movie scripts. Her biggest successes were books about the Pip-Larsson family that began with Kastrullresan (The Saucepan Journey, 1949), adapted into a film, and continued with Nu seglar Pip-Larsson (The Pip-Larssons Go Sailing, 1950). These characters were the basis of a hit 1998 Swedish television series called Pip-Larssons. The Pip-Larsson stories and others were translated into English and were part of a wave of Scandinavian books that influenced children's literature after World War II. Her last book, a historical young adult novel with autobiographical details called Bara Sara, was published posthumously in 2007.