Buddha Was a Cowboy

A progressive, alternative university is targeted for takeover by conservative forces in this satiric tale.


Aaron Motherway is a Hollywood screenwriter who, while recovering from a traffic accident, is tapped to run the arts program at Parami University, located in Pearl Handle, Wyoming.

What Aaron doesn’t know is that he is being set up to fail by various duplicitous forces, and he finds himself immersed in a culture war infused with sexual misconduct, embezzlement, political opportunism, and potential mass murder, played out in a climate of comedic dysfunction and absurdity.

His charming and able assistant has his back, fending off a demented poet and venomous colleagues. And he gains the loyalty of some very challenged students—a murderer, a lobster wrangler, and an apostate.

But there are surprises in store for Aaron before the story reaches a dramatic conclusion.

Buddha Was a Cowboy is a metaphor for many of the issues engulfing and dividing America today, and a darkly humorous take on the current cultural landscape.

Besides Buddha Was a Cowboy, Junior Burke is the author of the novels The Cold Last Swim, Something Gorgeous and A Thousand Eyes. He is also a songwriter and recording artist whose 2007 album While You Were Gone was named by New York’s Bowery Poetry Club as one of the best releases of that year. Other albums include Spot of Time (2017) and the EP America’s a Lonely Town (2019). He lives in rural Colorado.

Junior Burke‘s The Cold Last Swim (Gibson House Press, 2020) was one of five finalists for a Sidewise Award, the annual prize for novels of Alternate History. His short fiction was included in the anthologies Litscapes: Collected US Writings 2015 and Collectibles, published in 2021. He lives Out West.

Pub Date: September 13, 2022
Price: $16.95 US/$22.95 CAN
Binding: Original Trade Paperback
ISBN: 9781948721189 (paper); 9781948721196 (ebook)
Category: Fiction/Literary; Fiction/Satire
Page Count: 236
Trim size: 5.5” x 8.5”
LCCN: 2022934040

Trade distributor: Publishers Group West PGW

Publicity contact: Mary Bisbee-Beek, [email protected]