The Great Silence and Parakeets

Quick Bites – Short media discussed over lunch hour

Decorah Public Library staff are hosting seven book discussions in March, including a new Speculative Fiction Novella Group. The groups are open to the public and newcomers are encouraged to attend. Anyone interested should call the library at 382-3717 to learn more or to reserve a book. Zoom links are available on the Library’s website or you can email to be added to any of the seven groups’ email distribution lists. Funds for multiple copy sets were generously provided by Friends of Decorah Public Library.

The Quick Bites group will meet in a hybrid format on April 12 and April 26 from 12:15-1 p.m.  Quick Bites is a new discussion group focused on short form media. This group will discuss short stories, essays, poetry, and audio/visual materials over the lunch hour on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of the month. Participants can attend in person in the Library’s Public Meeting Room in the lower level of the library.  

Our first Quick Bites discussion in April will focus on two short stories that explore language, speaking, and what it means to be human. “Parakeets,” written by Kevin Brockmeier, is about a city where everyone sings except for a mute man who raises parakeets. It was the lead story in his 2008 collection The View From The Seventh Layer and was originally published in Granta magazine in 2007.  Brockmeier is the author of 8 books, including novels, short story collections, and two books for young readers. His most recent book is The Ghost Variations 

Text – 

“The Great Silence,” written by Ted Chiang, was originally created as a subtitled script for a short film about the Arecibo Observatory and the Puerto Rican parrots whose habitats were destroyed to build the telescope. The 16-minute film, created by Puerto Rican visual artists Jennifer Allora & Guillermo Calzadilla, was a three-channel HD video installation that premiered at the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Puerto Rico in 2014. Chiang’s full text was published in e-flux in 2015.  

Film – 

For more information, contact Tricia Crary (Friday Book Group), Zach Row-Heyveld (Cookbook and Quick Bites Groups) or Kristin Torresdal (Happy Hour, History, and Speculative Fiction Book Groups) at 563-382-3717.

Zoom Invitation 

Decorah Public Library is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting. 

Topic: Quick Bites 

Time: This is a recurring meeting Meet anytime 

Join Zoom Meeting 

Meeting ID: 836 1798 8317 

Passcode: 316638 

Dial by your location 

        +1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago) 

Meeting ID: 836 1798 8317 


Apr 12 2022


12:15 pm - 1:00 pm

More Info

Zoom Meeting Link


Both Virtual and Decorah Public Library


Zach Row-Heyveld
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