Trisha Shetty (Editor)

A Descant for Gossips (novel)

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Country  Australia
Publication date  1960
Pages  263pp
Author  Thea Astley
Publisher  Angus & Robertson
Followed by  The Well Dressed Explorer
Language  English
Media type  Print
Originally published  1960
Genre  Literary fiction
Preceded by  Girl with a Monkey
A Descant for Gossips (novel) t1gstaticcomimagesqtbnANd9GcSuPIvfTd67pllt
Similar  Thea Astley books, Classical Studies books

A Descant for Gossips (1960) is a novel by Australian author Thea Astley.


Plot summary

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.

Critical reception

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."

Television adapatation

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.


A Descant for Gossips (novel) Wikipedia

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