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WEDNESDAY

My sister, whose high-school career centered entirely on cheerleading, could not wait a decade for a reunion. She organized a get-together after only two-and-a-half years. I doubt Sam Lipsyte would approve. His new novel, Home Land, takes the form of a series of letters to a high-school alumni newsletter from one of the school’s lesser lights. That he was nicknamed “Teabag” captures much, but let Teabag/Lipsyte’s fiendishly precise prose speak for itself: “I’ve been meaning to write my update. Sad to say, vanity slowed my hand. Let a fever for the truth speed it now. Let me stand on the rooftop of my reckoning and shout naught but the indisputable: I did not pan out.” Oh, but in detailing “failure,” Teabag vividly portrays the hysterical shortcomings of his fellow classmates with deadly accuracy. I certainly recognized someone in the line “bathing at knifepoint in the phlegm of the dead.” Lipsyte reads at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 26, at Politics and Prose, 5015 Connecticut Ave. NW. Free. (202) 364-1919. (Dave Nuttycombe)