Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Cathy Marie Buchanan

Cathy Marie Buchanan's new novel is The Painted Girls.

From a Q & A with the author:

Question: Did you always intend The Painted Girls as a tribute to sisterhood?

Cathy Marie Buchanan: I once heard the great Canadian writer Alistair MacLeod comment that he did not so much buy into the old adage “write what you know” as a broader notion of writing about one’s obsessions. I’d take it a step further and suggest that, deliberate or not, a writer’s preoccupations find their way onto the page. When I first put pen to paper, my intention was to set down the story of the model for Degas’s beloved sculpture Little Dancer Aged Fourteen. But soon enough her sister was demanding equal time. I think now it was inevitable that my story would hold up a magnifying lens to the mysteries of sisterhood—the rivalry, the love. With three sisters of my own—each deeply loved by me despite alarming teenage rows—I have often found my mind lingering, wondering, stuck. What is it that provokes rivalry among sisters? And why is it so many of us the world over find solace in the strong arms of the sisters we love, that we so readily open our own? It was quite unintentional—though no accident—that I found myself pondering these questions as I imagined the story of Marie and Antoinette.

Q: Were you a dancer?

CMB: I studied classical ballet quite seriously throughout high school and during the early years of university, and danced with a small regional company for a number of years. I am a Licentiate of the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing and taught young dancers in order to pay for my own ballet lessons.

One of the great pleasures of researching The Painted Girls was attending a class of fourteen-year-old girls at the Paris Opéra Ballet School. Though thirty years and a continent away from my own days at the barre, I was...[read on]
Visit Cathy Marie Buchanan's website.

--Marshal Zeringue