Åsta Holth was born in Grue Finnskog near the Swedish border, made her debut in 1929 with the play I Luråsen, although real success came later with her novel Kornet og freden, 1955, in which she recounts the story of Finnish immigrants in the 1600s in Finnskogen. In this work and in her later novels, including Gullsmeden, 1958, and Steinen bløder, 1963, she writes her own family history.
She follows the lives of individual representatives of each generation in their struggle for survival, their worries, hopes, and expectations. In her novel Volva, 1987, she casts a critical eye over history through a sibyl who is reincarnated in different shapes at different points in history. In her autobiography Piga, 1979, she writes about her own life. She was a committed writer who wrote with a communist interpretation of history, seeking a better world.