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WordFest launches online book discussion

WordFest launches online book discussion


At 1 p.m. Friday, an online book discussion is being launched via Zoom by WordFest organizers.

Vikki J. Carter, producer and host of the podcast series, Authors of the Pacific Northwest, ( will discuss “As If Death Summoned” with the book’s author Alan Rose.

It is not necessary to have read the novel to participate. Carter will take questions from book discussion participants, and also offer questions from the book’s discussion guide, according to a press release submitted to The Daily News.

The WordFest monthly gathering of readers and writers in the lower Columbia region has been meeting since 2006. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the monthly in-person events were suspended in March. They resumed via Zoom in October.

“This will be a new venture for us,” Carter is quoted in the press release. She also directs the monthly Zoom WordFest events.

“It’s a natural next step for WordFest, where readers can safely gather online to discuss a book with the author,” she said.

Published on Dec. 1, World Aids Day, by Amble Press, an imprint of Bywater Books, “As If Death Summoned” arrives in time for the 40th anniversary of the AIDS epidemic. In July 1981, the Center for Disease Control reported a mysterious illness was striking gay men in New York City and San Francisco.

The novel takes place over one night in a Portland hospital waiting room as the narrator is keeping vigil for a friend in the intensive care unit, and during which the narrator recalls the past 10 years of the epidemic.

Rose worked at Cascade AIDS Project in Portland from 1993 to 1999, before coming to Longview as the director of community services for the Lower Columbia Community Action Program.

The book has garnered strong early reviews, notes the press release. Foreword Reviews calls it “as heartwarming and hope-giving as it is heartbreaking.”

“The book is especially timely now with the coronavirus pandemic,” Rose is quoted in the press release.

“But there is a broader theme and scope to the story: How grief can erode a life, and how one can find a way through grief to a new life, perhaps scarred, but also deepened by the experience,” he said. The author also coordinates the monthly WordFest events.

The Friday book discussion is free and open to the public. A Zoom account is not needed to participate

The Zoom invitation link will be sent Friday morning to people on the WordFest email list. To sign up for the free monthly email newsletter, visit

Organizers of the book discussion group hope to host more online book discussions in the future.

Details are available on the WordFest webpage at


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