I read it as a teen between 1989-1991, and have ever since wanted to re-read it. I think it was normal, adult fantasy fiction rather than a "young adult" book.

These are the few images I retain from the book: -

  1. Published either by a feminist publisher or otherwise as part of a showcase of women authors. Words to that effect were on the cover.
  2. Father lived with his daughter.
  3. Narrated from the daughter's perspective.
  4. The father "needed a place to go", referring to some base need to be able to call some patch of ground his own. There was reference to the idea of being able to crap on his own patch of grass turf. I think he preferred to crap on the ground and he wanted to own the ground. Something like that.
  5. The girl magically transformed into a mute cow during the story.
  6. As a cow, the girl was cared for by the father, but it wasn't clear that he knew the cow was his daughter.
  7. The father would amputate the occasional toe or somesuch that grew on the cow as she tried to express her humanity. These seemingly gruesome procedures were mentioned in passing, without any sense of trauma beyond the being "locked-in" to the cow's form.
  • 1
    I was going to say anamorphs until I red about the toe removal – Clint Eastwood Jan 15 at 16:12
  • 3
    I thought cows had hooves (wait for it) because they lactose – DannyMcG Jan 15 at 22:52
  • @Danny3414 why can’t we downvote comments? :-( – James McLeod Jan 16 at 1:20
  • 1
    It mooved me to tears. I upvoted. – James McLeod Jan 16 at 3:41

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