388pp., hardback, d.w., Cape Town, 2014
Imraan Coovadia takes 10 days spread out over the last four decades in South Africa, and tells a personal story that happened on each of the days: in 1970 Ann tries to protect her husband and son; in 1973 Victor searches for a missing document; in 1979 rock guitarist Yash takes his son to the beach to meet his revolutionary cousin; in 2010 Shanti loses her cellphone and falls in love twice in an afternoon.
"Simple in concept, complex in construction, a novel which is so much more than the sum of its parts, one which purports to examine the randomness of life while delicately drawing the eye to the butterfly effect of individual acts and exposing the interconnectedness of people. In pristine prose and with a telling eye for detail, Tales of the Metric System leaves the reader with a sense of having undertaken a journey through the familiar only to arrive somewhere completely new." Aminatta Forna, author of The Memory of Love
Imraan Coovadia was born in Durban. His books include The Wedding, High Low In-between, The Institute for Taxi Poetry, Green-eyed Thieves and A Spy in Time. He is a winner of the Sunday Times Fiction Prize, the University of Johannesburg Prize, the M-Net Prize, and a South African Literary Award for Non-Fiction. A graduate of Harvard College, he directs the creative writing programme at the University of Cape Town.