Hjördís Kristjánsdóttir was born in Akureyri, Northern Iceland in 1930. Her mother died of tuberculosis when she was only 3 and was put in foster care and raised by relatives, 5 siblings, in a rural countryside. She studied housekeeping and handcraft and became a teacher, alongside farm work with her late husband, Sigurgeir. She started writing a diary at age 30 and still does today, at age 86. She now lives in a retirement home in her birth town of Akureyri.