2023 COURAGE to WRITE Awardee Feature of the Week:
Stephanie Cuepo Wobby, To the Other Side of the Sea (Nonfiction Memoir)
To the Other Side of the Sea is a memoir about silence, inheritance, and belonging against the backdrop of the Philippines and the United States.
Stephanie’s memoir title is a direct translation of her maternal family line’s last name. The work started as a story about herself and her grandfather, who both joined the military without knowing what that meant or the implications of such. When he passed away, she received his memoir about surviving the Bataan Death March and Camp O’Donnell. Ultimately, To the Other Side of the Sea is a story about family.
She originally had so many different versions of this story, based on research and memory. Once she started interviewing family members, it became a bigger story on the colonization of Philippines, the history of military preparedness, and the unearthed history of own family. She hopes to have a final draft before the end of the year.
“I hope to begin a conversation on the inextricable ties between military service and intergenerational trauma, with an emphasis on Filipino identity.”