Tyyne Saastamoinen grew up in the home of a businessman in Viborg on the Karelian Isthmus and studied political science at the University of Helsinki and French and literature at the University of Paris.
She made her debut in 1954 with the short story collection Ikoni ja omena. Her broad, undulating prose rhythms expressed at once passion and melancholy. Her most important earlier works are the poetry collections Jääkausi, 1962, and Olen lähtenyt kauas, 1965. She wrote self-reflecting poetry, for example in works such as Hiljaiset jumalat (P), 1992, and Tehän tiedätte ajan (P), 1994.