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A Descant for Gossips (1960) is a novel by Australian author Thea Astley.
A Descant for Gossips (novel) Wikipedia
In a dusty Queensland country town young Vinny Lalor is bullied by her fellow students at the local high-school. Her teacher, Helen Striebel, is the only one to show Vinny any support and when the teacher is involved in a scandal with a fellow male teacher, Vinny is again hurt.
Joyce Halstead in The Australian Women's Weekly was impressed: "This gifted writer has drawn with a scholar's touch a sensitive and intense study in human emotions played out against the cruel pettiness of a small town community. The dusty Queensland tropical background, so well described, is significant, but remains unobtrusively incidental to the main theme. An excellent and important new novel."
In 1983 a television mini-series based on the book was released. The adaptation was directed by Tim Burstall, based on a script by Burstall and Ted Roberts and featured Kaarin Fairfax, Geneviève Picot and Peter Carroll in the lead roles.