SISTER SHAKO AND KOLO THE GOAT by Vedat Dalokay

SISTER SHAKO AND KOLO THE GOAT

Memories of My Childhood in Turkey
by & translated by
Age Range: 10 & up
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KIRKUS REVIEW

 The author's untimely death in an auto accident during his book's translation contributes to the mystical feel of this spare, episodic evocation. There is no plot. Sister Shako, whose husband and sons were murdered in a vendetta, lives with her goats in a stable belonging to Dalokay's father, the ``village landlord.'' With daily visits, the boy's unusual friendship with the old woman flourishes. Neither she nor her goat Kolo are of the village, nor are they simply as they appear; both seem to possess primordial powers that they occasionally employ. In one lyrical passage, Sister Shako prepares the boy for her passing: ``...I shall be the sap rising in the heads of the wheat...I shall be the grass in the pasture and I shall be the milk in Kolo's udder...I shall enter the blood of whoever drinks Kolo's milk, and I shall be in your flesh, in your bones, in the light of your eyes, dearest.'' With Sister Shako's death, Kolo and her kids vanish, leaving a legacy of three springs that flow miraculously until, tragically, the village is flooded after a dam is built. A vivid and elegaic portrayal of an elemental wise woman and of the rural Turkey where she lived half a century ago. (Autobiography. 10+)

Pub Date: March 1st, 1994
ISBN: 0-688-13271-5
Page count: 96pp
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1st, 1994