Novelist and playwright Cynthia Buchanan earned an M.A. in Creative Writing in English from the University of the Americas in Mexico and was awarded a Fulbright grant in Creative Writing in Spain, under the U.S. State Department. After many years in New York as a professional writer, she returned to her roots in the Spanish Southwest. She now lives in Texas, where she has completed several short stories, a new play and two new novels. Cowgirl Polygamy is set in Arizona, while The Scarlet Spaniard follows an Andalusian guerrilla after the Spanish Civil War. Currently, she's at work on a Latino graphic novel, Aztec Eagles of World War II: Mexico's Heroes, America's Brothers. (www.aztecagles.net) Her fiction, nonfiction and literary criticism has been published widely, from The New York Times, The Washington Post and Newsweek to such diverse literary quarterlies as Harvard Advocate, Cornell Review and Transatlantic Review. Buchanan's first novel Maiden burst upon the literary scene in 1972, published to sensational reviews. Critics celebrated it as a "brilliant comic satire" and its author as a superb storyteller, "a powerful voice" whose prose style was stunning. Maiden was called "hilarious" and powerful "social satire," a penetrating and original commentary on the deadly life of the American dream. Its heroine on her mythic quest is considered one of the great heroines in contemporary literature and Maiden remains today one of the most highly reviewed first novels in publishing history. Listed among "best" titles by The New York Times Book Review and the American Library Association, the book was acclaimed by the Encyclopedia Britannica as a premier novel that compared with the works of Gustave Flaubert, Henry James, Joan Didion and Sylvia Plath. Maiden was taught as an American classic at Harvard, Dartmouth, New York University, University of California at Los Angles and at Iowa Writers' Workshop, among others. Columbia Pictures bought Maiden film rights through an option by Lily Tomlin, who then commissioned Buchanan to write for her. Buchanan created such Tomlin characters as "Sister Boogie Woman," "Crystal the Quadriplegic" and "Susie Sorority" for the comedienne's tours and Broadway show. As well, Lily Tomlin starred in Buchanan's play at Arena Stage in Washington, D.C., under a National Endowment for the Humanities grant for new American playwrights.
Compassionate, warm, literary, and uses humor. Lots of heart. Encourages all efforts. As the daughter of a junior high teacher and the wife of an academic whose Ph.D. was in Animal Science, she has a teacher's instinct though wears the hat of a professional writer and consultant. Cynthia Buchanan has empowered students of all ages, through writing and publishing or public speaking. She merges her own lifetime experience in the jungles of the hard core publishing world. Her focus is to discourage narcissism in younger students and to encourage maturity and critical thinking as to the folly of "fame." Her background in theatre and Creative Dramatics has been of value in working with children as well as adults though at the present her focus is Higher Education but she has coached Gifted and Talented high school students on occasion and worked with home schooled students. Her "style" of shaping leaders and winners is based in enthusiasm, whether judging contests, coaching in the dramatic arts or in writing essays, short stories or plays. She was certified by the Texas Education Agency to train teachers in Creative Writing and has also been certified to train law enforcement in narrative writing. She switches "styles" when a consultant to law enforcement, regarding Mexico borderlands and international border security, hence she understands in depth how to relate to all levels of government, military and criminal justice.
Many college honors. Then won Mademoiselle Guest Editor contest and was sent to England for the 400th Anniversary of Shakespeare's birth. Then had a Fulbright grant in Creative Writing in Spain, under the U.S. State Department. Others' grants have included her writing and her published novel Maiden...Guggenheim, etc. She has been part of two grants under the National Endowment for the Humanities and held a grant from the New York State Council on the Arts in playwriting. Returning to her roots in the Southwest, she eventually received a Texas State Historical Association grant for her book in progress on the famous "Aztec Eagles: Mexico's Heroes, America's Brothers," a graphic novel based on her research for a film version. In 2007 and 2014, she received a prestigious Puffin Foundation grant in playwriting for her play "The Scarlet Spaniard" because of its human rights theme. Buchanan also writes grants for others and consults on the narratives necessary to win such funding.
B.A. in English and Theatre (Secondary Education): Arizona State University (Tempe); M.A. in Creative Writing: The University of the Americas (Mexico)
Cynthia Buchanan is a horsewoman and her expertise in the history of the American West/Spanish Southwest and its impact on the postcolonial institution of "el rancho" infuses much of her writing. She is an authority on the history of the American Cowboy and was a founder of the National Cowboy Symposium & Celebration at Texas Tech University in Lubbock. Fluent in Spanish and having lived and traveled both in Spain and Mexico, she was happiest living on a ranch on the Texas-Mexico border, riding with the Mexican vaqueros to work cattle. Meanwhile, Cynthia Buchanan is compiling a collection of her published pieces, including her experiences with James Michener at the running of the bulls in Pamplona, Navarra, Spain, and such other pieces as her interview with John Wayne in Arizona. The collection in progress is titled: Tiger's Heart in Writer's Hide. Her new novel manuscript Cowgirl Polygamy, the work of many years, cites the impact of the Spanish conquistadores and their horse culture in the American West, leaving a legacy of ranching. Regarding the field of cowboy culture, Cynthia Buchanan has been a speaker at conferences and has published widely in horse and cattle publications in the U.S., Mexico and Australia. Her new TV miniseries script "Hot Reactor," set in Texas, she calls "Wall Street...for entrepreneurial cowboys. Big oil. Little Texan." A Los Angeles producer is attached to this script as well as Buchanan's new novel and play and the short fiction now featured at her TpTstore--The Latino/multicultural immigrant story set on the Rio Grande. This classic fiction with its Faustian twist and title of "The Devil & Duda Pietrowicz"...is all about "Swapping souls on the TexMex border."