Michael McGirr was a Jesuit for twenty years and a Catholic priest for seven. McGirr was a founding staff member of Eureka Street and has been a regular newspaper columnist and reviewer for newspapers such as the Sydney Morning Herald. He was fiction editor of Meanjin from 2001-2005. In 2005 McGirr was the H. C. Coombs Creative Arts Fellow at the Australian National University. In January 2007 McGirr moved to Melbourne to take up a position as head of faith and mission at St Kevin's College in Toorak.
In addition to numerous literary reviews and critical works, McGirr has published several titles on religious subjects: The Good Life: Stories of Faith and Life (2000), Unhinged Saints (1998) and Finding God's Traces (2004).