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WEDNESDAY

If Joe Friday ever traded police work for broadcast journalism, he’d be a lot like Jim Lehrer. With his even-keeled, just-the-facts-ma’am delivery, Lehrer supplies the details of the day’s atrocities each night on PBS in a soothing, no-frills kinda way. Which is exactly how he writes. In his latest novel, The Special Prisoner, Lehrer follows John Quincy Watson, a World War II bomber pilot captured by the Japanese and subjected to torture. More than 50 years later, Watson—now a retired Methodist bishop—runs into “the Hyena,” his Japanese torturer from long ago, in a Dallas airport—an encounter that throws Watson’s life into disarray. Lehrer uses Watson’s reopened wounds to delve into the festering issues from the Second World War—including religion and forgiveness—in the straightforward way of a newsman. He will discuss the book at 8 p.m. at the Hirshhorn Museum & Sculpture Garden’s Ring Auditorium, 7th and Independence Avenue SW. $13. (202) 357-3030. (Dave Mann)