Hawthorn Cheu received his Masters and Ph.D degrees from Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y., and had lectured in Anthropology and Sociology in Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia from 1976 till mid-1995. From mid-1995 till 2000, he taught in the Malay Studies Department and the Southeast Asian Studies Center, National University of Singapore. He was a Fulbright Visiting Scholar-in-Residence at the Center for South and Southeast Asian Studies, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, from August 1987 to October 1988. Hawthorn Cheu, who is effectively trilingual in English, Chinese and Malay, wrote prolifically, and had contributed numerous articles in all three languages to professional and academic journals, magazines and newspapers. He had also presented numerous academic papers for discussion in local and international conferences.
Alice Tan is Hawthorn Cheu’s niece who had written some 49 poems in Chinese which he had helped to translate into English. Alice is a woman with a mind of her own. She is Chinese educated but is able to communicate in reasonably good English. Though a simple housewife, she is aggressively engaged in her own varied business enterprise. She was named Contribution Ambassador for Universe QiPao Beauty Pagent in 2018. Blessed with six beautiful children, she is a very responsible mother and housewife. Many of her poems were sentimental in nature as they were mostly written when she was inspired. However, they are by no means a factual presentation of her personal life experiences. This shows her innate creativity as a poetry writer.