Turn Left at Venus (Transit Lounge 2019) is a literary, utopian, feminist, science fiction novel that explores the patriarchy, gender, the artistic life, writing, relationships, friendships, aging and death. Author Inez Baranay, who has lived and written all over the world, acknowledges that she was inspired by the works of Ursula K. Le Guin and others while creating this strange and experimental novel that time slips between the past, the present and the future, and is compiled in an epistolary and metaphysical style.
In the 1930’s, two little girls – Ada and Leyla – meet on a very big boat as they make their way with their families as migrants from one side of the world to the other. Despite living miles apart in Sydney, their friendship endures, spanning relocations, careers and relationships of both women. Ada becomes A.L. Ligeti, a famous but reclusive author who publishes a seminal science fiction novel, Turn Left at Venus. From the prologue on that ship (‘We know everything about each other’) to the beginning of the first chapter, when a much older Ada ‘… cannot tell how long it’s been since she last moved or spoke’, the narrative travels forwards, backwards and sideways, encompassing dreamscapes, memories, internet threads, history, ambition, darkness and happiness, taking the reader on a journey of time and space, of the real and the imagined, of an examined life and the unexamined and unknown alternatives. This original and literary tale will not be for everyone, but I suspect for some readers it will be received with almost cult-like status.