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TUESDAY

What would you bring? The soldier who shows up at your door tells you not to worry—you’re being evacuated for just a night or two. But the air tastes like metal, a strange white foam is running in the streets, and your son didn’t come home from his shift at the plant for nearly three days. Like Marusia, you might consider your prized possessions; but, like Marusia, you’d probably yield to the practical. And maybe a year later, like Marusia, if you were old and bereft and had nowhere else to go, you’d decide to return home, radiation be damned, to Chernobyl. You wouldn’t be alone. Ukrainian-American author Irene Zabytko reads from and signs The Sky Unwashed, her fictional account of one family’s fate after the 1986 disaster, at 7 p.m. at Politics and Prose, 5015 Connecticut Ave. NW. Free. (202) 364-1919. (Caroline Schweiter)