Bảo Ninh was born in Hanoi in 1952. His father was a linguistics scholar. Bảo Ninh served for the Glorious 27th Youth Brigade, a troop mainly recruiting young people to join the army, and lived a military life for six years until the end of the Vietnam War. Of the five hundreds who went to war with the brigade in 1969, he is one of the ten who survived. After leaving the army, he went to study in the university in Hanoi, and worked at the Vietnamese Academy of Science and Technology (VAST) after graduation. He published his first novel The Sorrow of War in 1991, which was translated into 15 languages and won The Independent Foreign Fiction Award in 1994. Bảo Ninh joined the Vietnam Writers’ Association in 1997. He is regarded as one of the most representative Vietnam writers in the international literature scene.