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Alison Smith was once known as Alroy—as was her brother, Roy. The earthly bond that made them playmates, bickerers, and confidants was severed in 1984, when Roy was killed in a van crash. As a teenager, she learned she had another name when her first lover tried to separate from her under the watchful eye of nuns: “I’m a troublemaker,” says Terry, “and you’re the girl whose brother died.” Smith’s memoir, Name All the Animals, features many made-for-Lifetime touches: a parent who tipples, a young man who dies, a young woman who falls for another woman, an icon-ridden, plaid-skirted Catholic girlhood. But the author’s touch is so deft that this true story reads like the most subtle fiction. Smith reads at 7 p.m. at Politics and Prose, 5015 Connecticut Ave. NW. Free. (202) 364-1919. (Pamela Murray Winters)