Paul Croucher was born near Canberra in 1961, grew up in Sydney and Melbourne, and studied Asian history and Japanese at Monash University. He has previously published a history of Buddhism in Australia (UNSW Press) and was a co-founder of the poetry journal Salt-Lick Quarterly. Since 2009 he has been running a second-hand bookshop (Red Wheelbarrow Books) in Brunswick, where he lives with his two sons and with the novelist Catherine de Saint Phalle.