RASCAL RAIN: a year in Papua New Guinea rascalrain.jpg


Rascal Rain is the author’s memoir of a year in PNG where she was sent as a volunteer to work for women in Enga province in the Highlands. She landed in the intersection of very old cultures with the very latest in western religion, mining and development philosophies. The opposition of the men in power, the extreme otherness of the culture and the isolation were the difficulties; the beauty and fascination of the place and new friendships found there were the joys.
And then there was the culture of Development, people divided into expats and nationals, the Westerner and the Other.
Rascal Rain was first published in 1994. The new edition includes an Afterword reflecting on issues in the writing and reception of this book.

Scroll down to read reviews.


New edition with new Afterword published by Local Time Publishing in 2014.

First published by  HarperCollins Imprint in 1994. Out Of Print


Local Time Publishing edition  ISBN 978-1-304-76962-6

HarperCollins edition 1994 ISBN 0 207 18371 6

Buy This Book

New paper edition from Local Time Publishing. Buy from Lulu here


(or contact author)


Ebook available from Smashwords.com, and usual ebook sellers.

The HarperCollins edition was re-issued by ETT Imprint in 1997 and distributed by Tower Books (Australia) Out Of Print.  You might find copies online.

A new paper edition was published by Local Time Publishing. Available from Lulu,, Amazon and other online booksellers.


A new review was published in January 2016. By Cleo Fleming it was headed “Interested in feminism and development in Papua New Guinea? Be prepared for a bumpy ride, but read on”. Read it here: http://devpolicy.org/interested-in-feminism-and-development-in-papua-new-guinea-be-prepared-for-a-bumpy-ride-but-read-on-20160107/#comment-520732



Rascal Rain: a Year in Papua New Guinea

Baranay sees with a novelist’s perceptions. Her strengths are descriptions of people, places and events; her eye and her nose for the beautiful and disgusting, her ear for speech and her ability to set scenes, draw characters and have them come powerfully and unforgettably to life. … A worrying and thralling book.

-Canberra Times, June 9 1994

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Rascal Rain: a Year in Papua New Guinea

Works such as Rascal Rain are often labelled with the cultural imperialism tag, critics quick to point out the basic bias of the Euro-centric view of tribal cultures. Baranay for her part dismisses these notions, offering the alternate view that male bias and violence is a pervasive influence on the Engan tradition which is only amplified by the clash of cultures. Why does tradition imply changelessness in a world in constant flux, she asks? And why is an evolutionary model the only one used to distinguish cultural change? Are cultures only going to develop along present lines - in other words like us?

-Townsville Bulletin August 6, 1994

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Rascal Rain: a Year in Papua New Guinea

Rascal Rain…is a valuable sociological document on the appalling, continuing mistreatment of women; a graphic look at the beauty and splendour of the country and, amid the savagery, a story of warm and developing relationships with blacks and whites alike and a burgeoning love story for the author. … Baranay was sent to Enga to help in expanding the social, environmental and, particularly, the literacy programmes of the Enga Womens’ Council. … There is much joy in this fast-moving book. … Rascal Rain… is eminently readable and of particular interest to those interested in womens’ movements, New Guinea, native culture and travel. A good read.

-The Courier-Mail May 28, 1994

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Rascal Rain: a Year in Papua New Guinea

As a member of Australian Volunteers Abroad, Inez Baranay was sent to Papua New Guinea’s most depressing place - the chaotic, violent province of Enga. Within months she went from sipping cappuccino in inner-city Sydney to a culture where brides are bought, rape is commonplace, and women aren’t allowed near men’s food because it’s thought it will make the men weak. Her experiences have resulted in a highly readable account of a world left behind by the 6 o’clock news.

-Cleo, April 1994

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