Now in a new edition, with an Afterword written after the first publication. Set in Sydney in the 1950s, Pagan is based on a true story, a scandal that rocked Australia at the time, when a world-famous conductor was arrested for items found in his luggage, amidst rumours of his connection to a woman known as a Witch. This is their story, and that of a young newspaper reporter and his lover a music student who are caught up in these events. The new music, the new migrations and the old magick are the themes in this novel of many voices.
Reviews were glowing; scroll down to read more.


New edition by Local Time Publishing.

First published by Collins Imprint in 1990. [out of print]



Local Time Publishing edition ISBN 978-1-304-75425-7

Collins edition ISBN 0 0207 16681 1

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Local Time Publishing edition at Lulu (best price here; avoid you-know-what)

Ebook  Ebook of Pagan available from and usual ebook sellers. With a new Afterword by the author.

Pagan was re-issued in the omnibus Three Sydney Novels [out of print]


Pagan, Three Sydney Novels

Pagan is brilliantly written. As well as being very readable, it offers a highly intelligent analysis of the themes of Australia’s 20th century cultural history set around a story that was to grab the imagination - and the tabloids - of the country in the way Azaria Chamberlain was to do more than 20 years later. … Baranay is one of the most talented writers to emerge for some time. She has a great sense of character, an acute mind which ranges through art, music, philosophy, politics and literature, and a profound and insightful comprehension of the dynamics of human behaviour. She also has a savage and urbane wit and a rare ability to evoke human tragedy in the most understated of ways.

-The Advertiser, June 10, 1990

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Baranay skilfully brings the full weight of historical perspective to her account of the 1950s antipodean happenings. … The real strength of Pagan, however, lies in its structural complexity. The novel is a narrative tour de force. Baranay uses techniques which exist at the outer limits of discontinuity, offering a multitude of narrative viewpoints and voices. The risk of this approach, of course, is that not all the narrative personae will be credible, but Baranay doesn’t falter. Even when using the unusual second person singular to present Eveleen Warden’s early years, the narrative remains arresting and convincing…. Her open, inclusive style challenges the narrow, authoritarian attitudes of the society she portrays…

-Editions, (Sydney) March/April 1991

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Pagan, Three Sydney Novels

On the simplest level Pagan fictionally re-creates the life of Rosaleen Norton, the ‘Witch of the Cross’, who attracted the attention of the media during the 1950s… the narrative focuses on a series of events related to Norton’s involvement with Sir Eugene Goossens, one time conductor of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, events which rocked Australian cultural circles and resulted in his arrest … The scandal and conjecture surrounding [this] arrest provides much of the interest for the novel….

-Australian Book Review

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Pagan, Three Sydney Novels

Pagan works on several levels simultaneously. It chronicles a society in transition, contains a moving evocation of young love, and tries to unravel the circumstances of the Goossens scandal of reputed orgies and pornographic photographs. the novel also deals with the feminist tradition of Wicca - witchcraft - and the highs and lows that individual live can encompass.

-The Sunday Herald June 3, 1990

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