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In his new novel, Frank Conroy constructs a Bildungsroman wielding details the way high-steel crews do girders: slowly and methodically, yet capable of sudden, lung-filling beauty. Body & Soul: A Novel begins with a child’s-eye view from a basement apartment and ends with the perspective of a maturing artist at the cusp of accomplishment. The story in between is anchored in observed reality the way a bridge is moored in bedrock. Conroy reads from his book at 7 p.m. at Chapters, 1512 K St. NW. FREE. (202) 347-5495. (Michael Dolan)