For the last thirty years, I have written critical/analytical essays and books on Renaissance English and European literature. Yet now I find myself drawn to a project that is radically outside of this area of comfort—a creative nonfiction narrative about a journey to Western Europe made in 1949 by two Cuban women (my grandmother and mother), accompanied by two Iraqi friends and one American friend. Scattered accounts of this journey have brought to life the extraordinary nature of this crossing of national borders by women from diverse cultures, cultures whose strictures rarely allowed women to travel independently. Equally fascinating are the stories that these women have told about encounters with women from former enemy countries (France and Germany), struggling equally to regain their former identities and dignity. A New Directions Grant would allow me to turn from the comfort of writing critically about the past to the challenge of writing creatively about more recent events; it would allow me to gain the skills needed to transform oral stories into a coherent publishable book; and it would allow me to visit the two surviving members of this journey, as well as two of the women whom they encountered in Europe. As a result of crossing the traditional boundaries between critical and creative writing, I will be able to restructure a course I teach on "Introduction to Non-fictional Writing"; to support the growing number of Senior Independent Studies in creative non-fiction; and to teach an advanced course in creative non-fiction.