Málfríður Einarsdóttir was born in western Iceland, attended teacher training college, and went on a study visit to Copenhagen, but had to return when she contracted tuberculosis. She worked as a translator, was married, and had one child.
In 1977 her unusual autobiography Samastaður í tilverunni was published; it breaks with the chronology, deconstructs the biographical subject, and presents its own postmodern philosophy. It was followed by other autobiographical works: Úr sálarkirnunni (1978), Bréf til Steinunnar, 1981, and Rásir dægranna, 1986, as well as two surrealist novels, Audnuleysingi og Tötrughypja, 1979, and Tötra i Glettingi, 1983.
In the last seven years of her life, she stood out as one of the most original writers of modern Icelandic literature.