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Try to play the crazy-mother card with author Virginia Holman and she’ll trump you every time. You won’t get sympathy for the time your mom missed your Little League game because she had to work late, or the time she stormed into a friend’s house and dragged you out by your ear because you missed curfew. No matter how badly your mother has embarrassed you, berated you, or bossed you around, she probably has never uprooted you, dragged you out to a cabin in rural Virginia, and announced that you have been enlisted as a soldier in a “secret war.” In Rescuing Patty Hearst [Memories From a Decade Gone Mad], Holman recounts being kidnapped by her schizophrenic mother in 1975, just one year after the Symbionese Liberation Army captured the famous heiress. Shielded by a decade defined by eccentricity, her mother didn’t raise any eyebrows at first with her strange behavior. Her most psychotic episodes occurred when she was alone with her daughters: She repeatedly dropped a very young Holman alone in the middle of the woods in pitch blackness to perform “night maneuvers,” and Virginia’s sister Emma was once given a glass of bleach instead of milk to drink. Holman’s mother was formally diagnosed in the ’80s, but the family’s battle didn’t end: Holman still found herself held captive by anger, confusion, and fear. But in the course of this book, she finds a way to accept her mother, and her illness, without going native. Ask her about it at 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 18, at Borders, 14th and F Streets NW. Free. (202) 737-1385. (Sarah Godfrey)