Born in Germany, Marguerite Andersen started learning French when she was four and has lived her adulthood in that language. She studied at the Sorbonne, the Free University of Berlin and has a Ph.D. from the Université de Montreal. To feed her three children, she has taught at all levels, from nursery school to university. She was chair of Languages and Literature at the University of Guelph and held the Nancy Jackman Chair at Mount Saint Vincent University. She has lived in Germany, France, England, Tunisia, Ethiopia, the U.S. and came to Canada in 1958. She has seven grandchildren.