Imre Salusinszky was born in Budapest in 1955. He and his family came to Australia as refugees after the 1956 uprising. Imre was educated at Melbourne High School, the University of Melbourne, and Oxford.
Following a brief career in journalism in the late 1970s, he spent 25 years teaching and studying literature in universities. In 2003 he returned to full-time journalism with The Australian newspaper.
He was Chair of the Literature Board of the Australia Council for the Arts between 2006 and 2009, and in 2003 was awarded the Centenary Medal for services to the study and teaching of English. His many publications include, as editor, The Oxford Book of Australian Essays (1997).