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Tales of the Metric System

Tales of the Metric System

Imraan Coovadia

Category

Fiction

Format

Paperback with flaps

Price

$7.68 $6.93

In Stock

Excerpt

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$7.68 $6.93

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(Paperback with flaps | ISBN 9789385755668 | 400 pages | March 2016)

Summary

In ten chapters that describe ten days spread over four decades—from 1970 to 2010—this utterly compelling novel gives us a rich and intimate history of South Africa. From a Natal boarding school in the seventies and Soviet spies in London in the eighties to the 1995 Rugby World Cup final in Johannesburg and intrigue in the Union Buildings, the seat of the South African government, Tales of the Metric System shows how events that are seemingly unrelated but in fact interconnected in many different ways send tidal waves through the lives of ordinary and extraordinary South Africans alike.
An unforgettable cast of characters includes Ann, who is trying to protect her husband and son in 1970; Victor, whose search for a missing document in 1973 will change his life forever; guitarist Yash, who takes his boy to the beach on Boxing Day in 1979 to meet his revolutionary cousin; and Shanti, who loses her cellphone and falls in love twice on a lucky afternoon in 2010.
Playwrights, politicians, philosophers and thieves, all caught in their individual stories, burst from the pages of Tales of the Metric System as it measures modern South Africa’s story in its own remarkable units of imagination.

Excerpt

Click here to read an excerpt from the book.


Reviews

‘An astonishing feat of imagination, Tales of the Metric System marches across geographies and crisscrosses gender, race and class divides. The book encompasses a wide cross section of South African society—from leftist intellectuals in the 1970s to an AIDS patient on his deathbed in the early 2000s. And the personalities that have shaped the country’s history in ways both major and minor drift in and out of the narrative...Coovadia’s finest novel to date and maybe one that others will read long after our time has passed.’—Mail & Guardian

‘[Coovadia is] that very rare thing: a journeyman novelist who is both ambitious and serious in his determination to provide a “history from the inside” of his time and place in the world…In this novel there is clear evidence of a literary imagination at work that, like Gordimer’s, is able do what most SA writers can’t—bridge the periods of apartheid and post-apartheid [and] traverse racial gulfs...’—Financial Mail

‘His prose is so good, so clean, so funny, so witty, so intelligent…An absolute delight to read.’—Book Review, Primedia Broadcasting


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About the author

Imraan Coovadia

Imraan Coovadia was born in Durban in 1970. He is the author of the novels The Wedding, Green-Eyed Thieves, High Low In-between and The Institute for Taxi Poetry. He has also published a study of V.S. Naipaul, as well as a collection of essays, Transformations, and has contributed to several publications including The New York […]

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