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


Australian citizenship, immigrant background, transnational culture, cosmopolitan temperament. Inez Baranay was born in Naples, Italy, grew up in Sydney. Australia. She has published twelve books of fiction and non-fiction, and has lived in and taught creative writing in countries including India, Indonesia and the United States. Most recently Inez taught at the university in Canakkale, Turkey, on the shore of the Dardanelles. She now lives in Sydney.

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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