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Podcast: Imraan Coovadia Chats About How He Complicated Conventional Narratives in Tales of the Metric System

Tales of the Metric SystemImraan Coovadia chatted to Nancy Richards on SAfm’s Literature recently about his latest novel, Tales of the Metric System.

Coovadia explained the title of his novel, which was inspired by South Africa’s adoption of the metric system in 1970, coincidentally the year in which Coovadia was born.

“I think life and writing are so complicated that anything that looks like a well-executed plan is only well-executed in retrospect,” he says. “Very few writers manage to have a well-executed plan in advance of the execution.

“So any book starts in one particular place, but I did have a sense that I wanted to cover a period of immense change in consciousness, history, political economic social arrangements, and the one that I was most familiar with, because it’s the span of my life.”

Coovadia says he is also interested in how the way in which people experience their own personal stories interacts with larger, more abstract historical stories. He believes that conventional narratives can obscure “what really happened”.

Listen to the podcast:

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