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LIFE IN VIETNAM
From 2005 to 2009, I taught a seminar in International Relations at the Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam – a university-level institution training professionals for careers in the foreign service. For two years afterwards, I was consulting editor for the Women's Publishing House in Hanoi where I coordinated the compilation of the Anthology of Short Stories by Canadian Women Writers. It was published in Vietnamese in 2011. In my spare time, I wrote some two dozen book reviews, art reviews, and featured stories for three Vietnamese English-language magazines.
My studies took me from the Writing Program of the City of Ottawa, to the Humber School for Writers in Toronto, to Harvard University in Cambridge, and to the Fine Arts Work Centre in Provincetown. In Hanoi, tenacious expat writers – from Europe, North America, Australia and New Zealand – were my mentors and steadfast friends. They critiqued (mercifully) the early drafts of Imagining Vietnam. Several Vietnamese Writers welcomed me to their homes and shared their writing techniques. After settling in Vancouver, I took writing courses offered by the University of British Columbia and Simon Fraser University.
LIFE IN CANADA
I came to Canada from Warsaw to study at the University of Toronto. Subsequently, I earned graduate degrees in Political Science from the Norman Patterson School of International Affairs at Carleton University in Ottawa, and from the University of Alberta in Edmonton. My first two jobs were in Montreal, as a radio producer for the CBC's International Service, and as a researcher for TIME Canada. For the next two decades I wrote ministerial speeches and policy documents on issues of federal-provincial relations and Canada's foreign policy, for government departments in Edmonton, Victoria and Ottawa. When I write - fiction or non-fiction - I listen to the timber of words and the music of sentences.
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