Marie Munkara is of Rembarranga and Tiwi descent and was born on the banks of the Mainoru River in central Arnhem Land. She went to Nguiu on the Tiwi Islands when she was about eighteen months old, was sent down south by Catholic missionaries when she was three years old, and went back to the Tiwi Islands when she was twenty eight. From 2009, she was living in Darwin.
Better known for her award-winning short stories, she has more recently published children's books Rusty Brown and Rusty and Jojo.
In 2016, she published Of Ashes and Rivers that Run to the Sea, the story of her search for her original family after being raised by a white Catholic family.
In 2018, she was completing a PhD at Charles Darwin University in the Northern Territory.