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9

T H U R S D A Y

William Henry LewisIn the Arms of Our Elders—a short-story collection that chronicles the lives of ordinary people with extraordinary insight—is a spectacular debut. In “The Days the Light Stays On,” for instance, Lewis details the small comforts that sustain an elderly woman: “At this late time in Lauralinda’s life, there are a few constants that remain rich. California is still warm and dry and her skin, though wrinkled gently, is still caramel-rich in tone. She still can buy the same tea at the same store down the street. Her rhododendrons are always bright, and not a single picture from her albums has peeled or been misplaced.” Lewis reads at 6 p.m. at Vertigo Books, 1337 Connecticut Ave. NW. FREE. (202) 429-9272. (Jonetta Rose Barras)