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Having two countries to choose from can be a boon—though it may not have seemed that way to a Belgian-born ’60s adolescent trying to fit in in Summit, N.J. Indeed, New York writer Luc Sante didn’t really start to explore his original hometown of Verviers until he was in his mid-30s, when his restless parents had returned there for retirement. Researching his new memoir, The Factory of Facts, he found a town of peasants and weavers, a place that has much in common with one of his previous subjects of investigation, New York’s Lower East Side. Tracking the fervently Catholic Santes (with help from Mormon genealogists) to the Congo and Indonesia and back again, Sante found a past that was both communal and intensely personal. Sante still travels on a Belgian passport and still involuntarily utters French and Walloon words at crucial moments, but he can actually identify his own Americanization: “I myself have acquired an American cast to my face by this point in my life,” he writes, “even though I know from having seen myself talking, in mirrors and on film, that my mouth was shaped by the requirements of speaking French.” Sante reads from his book at 7 p.m. at Chapters, 1512 K St. NW. FREE. (202) 347-5495. (MJ)