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Tales of the Metric System: A Novel
by Imraan Coovadia
Ohio University Press, 2016
eISBN: 978-0-8214-4564-8 | Cloth: 978-0-8214-2225-0 | Paper: 978-0-8214-2226-7
Library of Congress Classification PR9369.3.C65T25 2016
Dewey Decimal Classification 823.92


In Tales of the Metric System, Coovadia explores a turbulent South Africa from 1970 into the present. He takes his home country’s transition from imperial to metric measurements as his catalyst, holding South Africa up and examining it from the diverse perspectives of his many characters. An elite white housewife married to a radical intellectual; a rock guitarist; the same guitarist’s granddaughter thirty years later; a teenaged boy at the mercy of mob justice—each story takes place over one of ten days across the decades, and each protagonist has his own stakes, her own moment in time, but each is equally caught in the eddies of change. Tales of the Metric System is clear eyed, harrowing, and daring.

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