Anna Westberg grew up in Ovansjö in Gästrikland. She was educated at Stockholm University and in the 1970s was extremely active as a cultural journalist on the papers Arbetaren, Dagens Nyheter, BLM, etc. She has spent a good deal of her adult life in Italy and France.
Her first novels, Paradisets döttrar, 1978, and Gyllene röda äpplen, 1979, were instant successes. In them, she described how two girls change into women in an introverted 1950s and early 1960s milieu. The male protagonist in Walters hus, 1980, is also trapped in a small, Swedish town. This award-winning novel depicts a male dreamer's escape into music and his vain attempt to break out via his passion. The search for authenticity and intensity is also a feature of her novels Sandros resa, 1986, and Maria moder, 1991, about a complicated mother-son relationship. In her autobiographical novel Vargtagen, 1993, she told the story of her dramatic life together with a Frenchman in the Paris environs in the 1980s.