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y separately published work icon A Descant for Gossips single work   novel  
Issue Details: First known date: 1960... 1960 A Descant for Gossips
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'In this classic story of small-town life, two schoolteachers are drawn to each other by their concern for a lonely young girl. For as long as Vinny Lalor could remember, she had been on the fringe of things – in her family and at school. But as the final term of the year progresses, rumour and malice mount against Vinny and her two teachers, sweeping them towards scandal and, for one of them, disaster.' (Source : UQP 2015 reissue.)

Notes

  • Other formats: Also large print.

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

Works about this Work

W/rites of Passion: Thea Astley's Sunshine Coast Transition from Poetry to Fiction Cheryl M. Taylor , 2017 single work criticism
— Appears in: Queensland Review , December vol. 24 no. 2 2017; (p. 271-281)

'During 1947 and 1948, Thea Astley's life changed in ways that permanently affected her writing. In August 1947, she obtained a transfer to Imbil State School, west of Noosa. In November she re-sat failed University of Queensland exams in economics and history, and graduated with a BA in the following April. In January 1948, Astley took up a secondary teaching post at Pomona Rural High. On 27 August, she married Jack Gregson at the Gympie Registry Office. She transferred to Brisbane for the remainder of 1948, and early in the New Year moved with her husband to Sydney. This article contrasts poetry about love and place that Astley wrote during these transition years with the themes and tone of her novel, A Descant for Gossips, published in 1960 and set in Pomona (‘Gungee’) and its environs. Dedicated ‘To John’, Astley's love poems display a passionate lyricism and a commitment that, though usually nervous and conditional, encompasses moments of settled happiness and clarity. In Descant, by contrast, moments of fulfilment in the love affair of teachers Helen Striebel and Robert Moller are suffused with guilt. Similarly, Astley's youthful response in her poetry to the beauty of the ranges and the coast collapses a decade later in Descant into a dystopic rendition of Gungee as a town that punishes defiance and crucifies difference. The article concludes by speculating about causes for the transformation.' (Abstract)

Reissues Kate Livett , 2016 single work review
— Appears in: Long Paddock , vol. 75 no. 3 2016;

— Review of Miss Peabody's Inheritance Elizabeth Jolley , 1983 single work novel ; A Descant for Gossips Thea Astley , 1960 single work novel ; Poor Fellow My Country Xavier Herbert , 1975 single work novel ; Journey to Horseshoe Bend T. G. H. Strehlow , 1969 single work biography
Thea Astley's Failed Eden Paul Genoni , 2006 single work criticism
— Appears in: Thea Astley's Fictional Worlds 2006; (p. 153-163)
Thea Astley : Exploring the Centre Paul Genoni , 2004 single work criticism
— Appears in: Subverting the Empire : Explorers and Exploration in Australian Fiction 2004; (p. 97-144)
Thea Astley : A Woman among the Satirists of Post-war Modernity Susan Sheridan , 2003 single work criticism
— Appears in: Australian Feminist Studies , November vol. 18 no. 42 2003; (p. 261-271)
The article examines Astley's early satirical novels, asking the question, what do these early satires on gender relations share with those of her male contemporaries, and where do they differ? Are her suburbs and small towns vehicles for satire and ironies that blame women for the excesses and failures of modernity? Arguing that post-war modernism was a strongly masculinist culture which saw art defined by its distance to everyday life, popular values and middle-class consumerism, Sheridan concludes: 'To the extent that she shared this dominant masculinist aesthetic of the 1950s and 1960s, Astley's satirical stance involved her, inevitably, in a modernist rejection of this feminine modernity as innately trivial, distracting and undermining serious aesthetic, intellectual and spiritual values' (270).
Untitled 1960 single work review
— Appears in: The Cairns Post , 30 April 1960; (p. 8)

— Review of A Descant for Gossips Thea Astley , 1960 single work novel
A Queensland-Born Novelist Passes Her Stiffest Test Roger Covell , 1960 single work review
— Appears in: The Courier-Mail , 7 May 1960; (p. 2)

— Review of A Descant for Gossips Thea Astley , 1960 single work novel
Fiction Chronicle Marjorie Barnard , 1960 single work review
— Appears in: Meanjin , December vol. 19 no. 4 1960; (p. 435-443)

— Review of The Roaring Days : an Australian yarn Donald McLean , 1960 single work novel ; The Exiles Lynn Foster , 1960 single work novel ; Summer Glare : A Novel Gerard Hamilton , 1959 single work novel ; No Sunlight Singing Joe Walker , 1960 single work novel ; Pink is for Girls : A Romance Juliet Rolleston , 1960 single work novel ; Peppercorn Days Jon Rose , 1959 single work novel ; Mr Brain Knows Best Robert Burns , 1959 single work novel ; A Descant for Gossips Thea Astley , 1960 single work novel ; Time, Flow Softly : A Novel of the River Murray Nancy Cato , 1959 single work novel ; A Wreath of Water Lilies Pat Flower , 1960 single work novel ; White Man's Shoes Olaf Ruhen , 1960 single work novel ; Where the Wind's Feet Shine H. H. Wilson , 1960 single work novel
[Review] The Slow Natives Arthur Ashworth , 1966 single work review
— Appears in: Southerly , vol. 26 no. 1 1966; (p. 62-66)

— Review of The Slow Natives Thea Astley , 1965 single work novel ; Girl With a Monkey Thea Astley , 1958 single work novel ; A Descant for Gossips Thea Astley , 1960 single work novel ; The Well Dressed Explorer Thea Astley , 1962 single work novel
A Descant for Gossips Jean Campbell , 1960 single work review
— Appears in: Overland , Winter-Spring no. 18 1960; (p. 56)

— Review of A Descant for Gossips Thea Astley , 1960 single work novel
Thea Astley : A Woman among the Satirists of Post-war Modernity Susan Sheridan , 2003 single work criticism
— Appears in: Australian Feminist Studies , November vol. 18 no. 42 2003; (p. 261-271)
The article examines Astley's early satirical novels, asking the question, what do these early satires on gender relations share with those of her male contemporaries, and where do they differ? Are her suburbs and small towns vehicles for satire and ironies that blame women for the excesses and failures of modernity? Arguing that post-war modernism was a strongly masculinist culture which saw art defined by its distance to everyday life, popular values and middle-class consumerism, Sheridan concludes: 'To the extent that she shared this dominant masculinist aesthetic of the 1950s and 1960s, Astley's satirical stance involved her, inevitably, in a modernist rejection of this feminine modernity as innately trivial, distracting and undermining serious aesthetic, intellectual and spiritual values' (270).
Thea Astley : Exploring the Centre Paul Genoni , 2004 single work criticism
— Appears in: Subverting the Empire : Explorers and Exploration in Australian Fiction 2004; (p. 97-144)
Thea Astley's Failed Eden Paul Genoni , 2006 single work criticism
— Appears in: Thea Astley's Fictional Worlds 2006; (p. 153-163)
Thea Astley : Interview Daniel R. Willbanks (interviewer), 1992 single work interview
— Appears in: Speaking Volumes : Australian Writers and Their Work 1992; (p. 26-42) Thea Astley's Fictional Worlds 2006; (p. 21-35)
Pioneer's Lament Margaret Smith (interviewer), 1981 single work criticism biography interview
— Appears in: The Weekend Australian Magazine , 8-9 August 1981; (p. 16)
Last amended 1 Jun 2015 13:19:32
Subjects:
  • Bush,
  • Gympie, Gympie area, Gympie - Cooloola - Tin Can Bay area, South East Queensland, Queensland,
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