Magret Johansen grew up in a working-class milieu with bourgeois ambitions, lost two husbands to illnesses, and has one child. She worked in advertising for twenty-five years and has won prizes.
After her debut short story collection Om kvinner, 1971, she published many novels and short stories and wrote for radio and television about women's lives, from trivialities to abuse of women and their duties in the form of perpetual care and dreary work both inside and outside the home. Du kan da ikke bare gå …, 1981, a novel about the abuse of women, was dramatised for theatre and television. As a writer and debater, often using the pseudonym MAJO, she exposes both blatant and carefully disguised contempt for women.