Kjerstin Norén grew up in Jönköping, studied in Lund in the late 1960s, and became a leading figure among left-wing academics. In the mid-1970s she was one of the driving forces behind the successful feminist rock band Röda Bönor, and in 1983 she published the song-book Kvinnosångboken, a collection of songs from the musical treasure trove of the women's rights movement. In the late 1970s she moved to Copenhagen and worked as a theatre and literary critic on the daily newspaper Information.
Her debut publication was her autobiographical novel Jag dör av frihet, 1979. In 1990 she published Anna-Klara Larssons lidande och glädje, a work which is hard to classify in terms of genre.