Manya Shaikevitsch was born to a Jewish family in Odessa, Russia, a daughter of Nokhem Mayer Shaikevitsch (Shomer), a well-known novelist and playwright, and his wife Dinneh Bercinsky. The family emigrated to the USA in 1889, settling in New York City. Now known as Miriam Shomer, she attended public school and after graduation worked as a librarian. During this time, she studied drawing and art at the Jewish Educational Alliance. She knew many of the leading figures of the Yiddish literary world, and became a writer herself. She contributed articles to publications such as the Yidishes Tageblat and American Weekly Jewish Newspages, often on feminist themes and in support of women's right to vote. In 1905, she married Charles Zunser and had three children. She began another career as a Yiddish playwright, usually in collaboration with her sister Rose Shomer Bachelis. In 1921, they authored Ayne fun Folk (English translation, One of the Many), among the first Yiddish plays written by women. They followed with two more, Sirkus Meydl (Circus Girl, 1928), which starred Molly Picon, and Der Zingendiker Ganef (The Singing Thief). Miriam also wrote several plays in English, including Goldenlocks and the Bears, which was produced on Broadway. She was active in Zionist affairs and was a delegate to the first American Jewish Congress, convened by her brother Abraham Shomer. Her memoir Yesterday appeared in 1939.