Catherine Rey was born near La Rochelle in France. At the age of 41 she left her job as a schoolteacher and moved to Perth where her grandparents had earlier lived for 20 years. Rey was raised by those grandparents (her father's parents) from the age of three weeks until she left home just prior to her eighteenth birthday.
Rey continues to write her novels in French.
Her publications before coming to Australia include L'ami intime : recit (1994), Les jours heureux : roman (1995) and Eloge de l'oubli : recit (1996).