The award-winning writer Minfong Ho was born in Rangoon, Burma, and raised in Singapore and Bangkok. She then studied in Taiwan and at Cornell University in New York, where she started writing to combat homesickness. In her novels, Ho presents realistic depictions of her native Southeast Asia. Her works have garnered international accolades and awards. In 1997 she was awarded the Cultural Medallion, the highest arts accolade in Singapore.