The Edge of Bali and other writings


ISBN: 9781921924194 Format: 368pp 230mm x 153mm Rights: World Release / Publication Date: 01 /07 /2012


Three people travel to Bali for very different reasons.

Marla is well read in Bali’s culture; she distrusts false ideologies, orientalism and tourism. To her surprise she finds the echoes of a golden age and a passionate lover. Nelson, a young woman from Sydney returns in the hope of reuniting with her Balinese boyfriend, but encounters the unexpected. Tyler, a New Yorker searching for a lost friend, enters a world of mystery and intrigue.

All three are on the edge, unsure of whether they should stay in Bali any longer, but are increasingly drawn into the heart of this complex and alluring island.

Through subtle storytelling and compelling characters, Inez Baranay unravels the exotic, ways of knowing and the culture of tourism, in one of the world’s favourite destinations.

Twenty years on from its initial release, The Edge of Bali has a renewed pertinence and relevance, exploring as it does, with great prescience, the relationship between Bali and the West, in all its beauty, darkness and hope.
For the first time, the novel is accompanied by the author’s non-fiction writings on Bali.

A story of travellers ‘who flock to the third-world to look for meaning, religion, spirit, beauty – all the things that amid our wealth and technology of the modern world, we have lost … this is a book full of contemporary dilemmas, clearly and keenly expressed by Baranay’s characters.’ Gabrielle Carey, Australian Book Review

‘Baranay writes evocatively of the Bali landscape, raising serious questions within vivid description. New myths jostle with the old.’ S.K. Kelen, Sydney Morning Herald

Inez Baranay has published ten books of fiction and non-fiction, most recently Always Hungry.

Her previous novels With The Tiger and Neem Dreams and the non-fiction Sun Square Moon: writings in yoga and writing were first published in India, where Inez has been many times over the last thirty years.

Early novels were collected in the omnibus reprint Three Sydney Novels and non-fiction includes Rascal Rain: a Year in Papua New Guinea.

Inez has also published essays, stories, reviews and travel pieces; some can be read online. She recently completed a memoir and continues to work in prose and screenplay forms.

In Australia, India, USA and Europe, Inez has lectured on writing issues and taught creative writing in universities, schools and community groups, given many readings and talks, been a guest at conferences, seminars and festivals, and been a resident at various international writers’ centres. She currently lives in Istanbul.

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First published 20 years ago, it’s a testament to the timeless nature of Inez Baranay’s stories that this novel isn’t particularly dated. The Indonesian island remains a popular holiday destination and it’s the tourist perspective that Baranay’s interested in exploring. The narrative, which follows three Westerners, skates on the edge of Bali without venturing into the local mindset.’ 

The Sunday Age, July 22 

Each of these three has hopes and dreams, and each gets a reality check along with unanswered questions about themselves. Seduced by the smiles, their delusions of a Balinese destiny and the ‘pretty promises of a new and meaningful life’ (p169) are shaken into clarity by time. They don’t ‘belong’ in the culture and their privileged origins mean that they never can belong. If you stay in any holiday destination long enough, you discover that for yourself.
The Edge of Bali is a classic example of a book that should never have gone out of print. Congratulations to Transit Lounge for reissuing it!’

Lisa Hill, ANZ Lit Lovers, September 2012