Christine Brooke-Rose was born in Geneva, Switzerland to an English father and Swiss-American mother. Her first language was French, but the family also spoke English and German. Her parents separated in 1929 and she moved with her mother to Brussels, and then to the UK. During World War II, she joined the Women's Auxiliary Air Force (WAAF) and worked at the secret facility of Bletchley Park as an intelligence officer, assessing intercepted German communications. After the war, she read English at Oxford University and earned a Ph.D. in Middle English from University College London in 1954. She worked for a time in London as a literary journalist and scholar. Her debut novel, The Languages of Love, was published in 1957. In 1968, she moved to France, where she taught linguistics and English literature at the University of Paris-Vincennes. In 1975, she was named professor of American literature and literary theory. Other novels included Out (1964); Such (1966), for which she shared the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for fiction; and the autobiographical Remake (1996).
Her literary criticism included A Structural Analysis of Pound's Usura Canto: Jakobson's Method Extended and Applied to Free Verse (1976); A Rhetoric of the Unreal: Studies in Narrative and Structure, Especially of the Fantastic (1981); and A ZBC of Ezra Pound (1971). She was also well-known as a translator of French works into English, in particular the works of Alain Robbe-Grillet. She retired from teaching in 1988 and went to live in the south of France. She was married three times: to Rodney Bax, to the poet Jerzy Pietrkiewicz, and to Claude Brooke.