Drífa Viðar was a recognised artist, who wrote literary and cultural criticism for the feminist periodical Melkorka in the 1960s. She was born and grew up in a bourgeois family in Reykjavík. After completing schooling and qualifying as a teacher, she studied art in Reykjavík, New York, and Paris. She was married and had four children.
Her debut novel Fjalldalslilja, 1967, describes young people caught between tradition and modernity in the late 1930s. The text is lyrical, metaphorical, and humorous with a melancholy undertone. Her short story collection Dagar við vatnið was published posthumously in 1971.