Elvira Willman-Eloranta grew up in a bourgeois milieu in a small, provincial town until her mother moved alone with the two children to Helsinki when she was thirteen. She passed the upper secondary school leaving examination in 1894, going on to university, and working with the theatre. As a communist, she moved to the Soviet Union in 1917 together with her husband, who was sentenced to death in 1923. She herself disappeared without a trace during the Stalin regime.
She made her debut in 1903 with the socially critical drama Lyyli and describes the proletariat milieu in Helsinki in her melodrama Kellarikerroksessa from 1907. In countless articles in newspapers and periodicals she described the lives of working class women and addressed issues of sexual morality in her prose and poetry.