Michelle de Kretser migrated to Australia with her family in the early 1970s. After completing high school, she studied French at the University of Melbourne. de Kretser subsequently taught for a year at Montpellier and enrolled for an MA in Paris. After returning to Australia, de Kretser worked for many years as an editor for the travel publisher, Lonely Planet
. She was also a founding editor of the Australian Women's Book Review
(1989-1992). In the late 1990s de Kretser used long-service leave from Lonely Planet to write her first novel, The Rose Grower
(1999). Her second novel, The Hamilton Case
, appeared in 2002. She continues to work as an editor and reviewer.