Short story unit with essay/study guide: Multicultural / Latino
Total pages: 20
Grades: Higher Education, Adult Education, Staff, Literary Circles
Subjects: English; Literature; Film History; Hispanic Studies; Spanish Literature;
Creative Writing; Cultural History, European History; Multiculture;
The Fiction Force presents a brand new short story by novelist Cynthia Buchanan. The author adds her unique personal essay about her creative process developing characters in Spain, Mexico, New York and Hollywood. With colorful, sophisticated study guide, this whole unit packs a wallop. She's a pro.
Title of Short Story:
"THE SPANISH MAQUI"
(The Outrageous Exploits in Love and War of a Guerrilla-Pícaro
of Andalusia, a Genius in Creating His Own Legend)
by Cynthia Buchanan
PART ONE: The Short Story - 4,600 words
PART TWO: Study Guide--Critical Essay/ Personal Essay -1,500 words
PART THREE: Study Guide / Discussion / Critical Thinking - 400 words
The unit features discussion questions for critical thinking plus writing prompts probing the story and its piggy-backed essay titled:
"From Antonio Banderas to Battles in Spain,
A Writer Invents a Character: You Can, Too"
by Cynthia Buchanan
From a friendship with James Michener at the running of the bulls in Pamplona to New York and her interviews with American veterans of the Spanish Civil War, the famed Abraham Lincoln Brigade, this Hispanophile writer gives you the benefit of her adventures.
Years later, her knowledge of the mountain guerrillas who resisted the regime of Spain's president Generalissimo Francisco Franco led to an independent producer in Hollywood setting up a pitch meeting for Buchanan at the production company of Antonio Banderas.
This unusual road dated back to her Fulbright grant in Creative Writing in Spain under the U.S. State Department and Institute for International Education.
Then when Cynthia Buchanan published her first novel Maiden after moving to New York, Lily Tomlin optioned the book for film. Afterwards, she commissioned Buchanan--also a playwright--to create characters for Tomlin's live tours and Broadway show, a career that would one day earn Tomlin her iconic award from the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.
Just saying: When writer Buchanan offers your students insights about literary characters, she cares. Moreover, this unit with its motif of European history and war encourages compassion through universal human emotion in foreign cultures. That's why we call literature "the humanities," right?
Finally, vis-à-vis Buchanan's experiences, her unit drops hints not just about crafting plots in fiction but drama, comedy and screenplays. As to how Hollywood runs with an idea from pitch to screen when globalization intrudes, read a little about it here!
The Fiction Force. Where else but from the heart of a real writer?
Copyright © 2015 by Cynthia Buchanan Cowley
All rights reserved