Ebba Torstenson grew up in Mariager, where her parents ran a pharmacy. She later lived with her maternal grandfather, who was a bishop in Viborg, and finally with her mother from 1935. She worked as a journalist and as a publisher from 1976 and is the widow of writer and professor A. Stender-Petersen. She has one son.
Her debut novel To mennesker, 1950, was followed by titles such as De der sejrede (D), 1961, En damekomedie (D), 1965, Af god familje (M), 1967, Det herrens år (N), 1978, and Når krigen er forbi 1-3 (N), 1984-1989. Built on the theme of love, her works revolve around female existential problems, with a new, tangible realism becoming evident from the 1960s onwards. In 1970, she published her first collection of essays Århundredet går ind i støvets år. Here and in her memoir essays from the same year Et sted i verden – et sted i tiden. En slags erindringer, she incorporates her experiences into a critical post-war perspective.