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Aminatta Forna’s The Devil That Danced on the Water is a detailed and steady memoir, a recollection of a nightmare of a life that slowly went from same-as-anybody’s to fatherless as the author’s native Sierra Leone turned from a fledging democracy to a dictatorship. “When I was ten,” she writes, “after my father was taken away, I began to suffer migraines that remained undiagnosed for years. With the heels of my hands pressed against my temples I would run around the house making desperate circles…” Before and during his time in jail, her father dreamed of building them a house: “[H]e spent hours drafting and redrafting his designs; in his letters to me he described the house in which we would all live before too long.” Forna is in town at 7 p.m. at Politics and Prose, 5015 Connecticut Ave. NW. Free. (202) 364-1919. (Jason Cherkis)