Alice Le Dung Nguyen Swann was born in Saigon in 1941, during the Second World War. She witnessed the Indochina War and the Vietnam War, and her story is intertwined with the history of Vietnam.
While a student in Belgium, she converted to the Roman Catholic faith. She graduated from the Catholic University of Louvain (Belgium) in 1964 and began her career in 1965 at the Embassy of the Republic of Vietnam in Rome, Italy. Afterward, she was posted in Geneva at the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Vietnam to the United Nations and its specialized agencies.
In 1972, she published her first book in French, Le Poème du Vietnam, and became a member of ADELF (Association des écrivains de langue française) (French Language Writers’ Association). Paris, France
In 1975, she immigrated to Canada, and she became a Canadian citizen in 1978. She married Julian Swann in June of 1978. As was the case with many other Vietnamese families, her parents, brothers, sisters, cousins, and friends were not spared the sorrows of war.