News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

Deschutes County Library’s ‘A Novel Idea’ goes online

Though recent events make it impossible to gather together as in years past, Deschutes Public Library will still celebrate “A Novel Idea…Read Together” in April, with Anne Griffin’s debut novel, “When All Is Said” taking center stage.

“‘A Novel Idea’ has taken us to new places around the globe, and to different points in time,” said Deschutes Public Library Programs Supervisor Liz Goodrich. “With our previous selection we traveled back in time but stayed in the United States. This year, we’re headed across the Atlantic. When All Is Said is a tale told from the present that explores the past, and much of that past takes place in the main character’s home country of Ireland.”

This year, the library takes the entire “A Novel Idea” program to a new place, as well: online. In past years, programming drew thousands of book lovers to lectures, musical performances, art workshops, and more. But in light of recent developments, programming for A Novel Idea is moving online, where people can stream lectures and performances that enrich various aspects of “When All Is Said,” and take part in online book clubs.

“Our team had a great time organizing lectures that will allow readers to experience the novel in a variety of ways,” said Goodrich. “We still plan to bring as much of that content to people as we can, albeit in a new format.”

The following programs will be available online only. They are available beginning at the time listed, and will continue to be made available indefinitely thereafter.

Chris Sepic Performs Irish Music

Listen to traditional Irish reels and jigs on flute, bouzouki and bodhrán, and learn a bit about the music. Chris Sepic plays traditional Irish music in Central Oregon and the greater Pacific Northwest. He performs as Wood & Silver. Learn more about Chris and his music at

•?Sunday, April 5 — stream on YouTube and Facebook beginning at 3 p.m., April 5.

Literary Trivia

Book geeks and homebodies unite in a literature trivia night. Use the link to attend the Zoom event Tuesday, April 7, at 5 p.m.

The Library Book Club

Join a library-led book club and discuss When All Is Said.

•?Wednesday, April 8, 10 a.m. at

•?Wednesday, April 9, noon at

•?Wednesday, April 16, noon at

Travels in the Emerald Isle

An armchair exploration of Ireland’s countryside, towns and cities with librarian Julie Bowers, who traveled to Ireland last year. She will share her experiences and discuss getting around, lodging, historical sites and pubs.

Follow this link after April 20 for a URL to view this presentation:

History, Literature, and Memory in 20th-century Ireland

Twentieth-century politics and literature in Ireland were often so firmly intertwined that it can be a challenge, even now, to differentiate between the two. Dr. David Campion explores the intersection of history, literature and memory in Ireland from the first performance in 1902 of W.B. Yeats’ controversial play “Cathleen ni Houlihan” to the Good Friday Peace Agreement in Northern Ireland in 1998. Saturday, April 18, stream on YouTube and Facebook beginning at noon.

A Conversation About Memoir with Beth Alvarado and Ellen Santasiero

Join two memoirists in conversation. Hear about some of their favorite works, how you go about writing memoir, where to start, why memoir is important and what they are telling their students about writing memoir right now. Follow this link after April 22 for a URL to view this workshop:

Irish Soda Bread Workshop

Learn the step-by-step process of making a delicious loaf of Irish Soda Bread as well as its history and importance. Led by Elizabeth Guerin, who teaches cheese- and bread-making for several community groups. Follow this link after April 23 for a URL to view this workshop:

Demystifying Dyslexia

The narrator of “When All Is Said” is a successful farmer and businessman. But his struggles with dyslexia as a boy instilled a deep sense of shame that he worked to compensate for as an adult. Sharon Bellusci will provide an accurate, myth-free, understanding of dyslexia and talk about the experiences of people with dyslexia, parents of dyslexic kids, and educators who specialize in teaching children with dyslexia. Bellusci manages Decoding Dyslexia of Central Oregon. Follow this link after April 28 for a URL to view this presentation:

About When All Is Said: At the bar of a grand hotel in a small Irish town sits 84-year-old Maurice Hannigan. He’s alone, as usual—though tonight is anything but usual. Pull up a stool and charge your glass, because Maurice is finally ready to tell his story. Over the course of this evening, he will raise five toasts to the five people who have meant the most to him. Through these stories — of unspoken joy and regret, a secret tragedy kept hidden, a fierce love that never found its voice — the life of one is poignantly laid bare. Beautifully heart-warming and powerfully felt, the voice of Maurice Hannigan will stay with readers long after all is said and done.

Author Anne Griffin was born in Dublin and now lives in the heart of Ireland’s midlands.

An acclaimed short story writer, she is the recipient of the John McGahern award for emerging writers.

She was shortlisted for the Hennessey New Irish Writing Award, The Sunday Business Post Short Story Competition and The Benedict Kiely Short Story Competition.

Her work has been published in The Irish Times, The Stinging Fly and others.

A graduate of University College Dublin’s MA in Creative Writing Program, Griffin is a recipient of an Arts Grant from Westmeath County Council.

“When All Is Said” is her first novel.

It was a semifinalist for the Goodreads Choice Awards for Best Debut, has been a bestselling novel in Ireland and won the Irish Book Award for Sunday Independent Newcomer of the Year.


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