Home Land A Novel

Sam Lipsyte




Trade Paperback

240 Pages



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Winner of the First Annual Believer Book Award
Nominated for Nerve magazine's Henry Miller Award
A New York Times Notable Book

What if somebody finally wrote to his high school alumni bulletin and told . . . the truth? Here is an update from hell, and the most brilliant work to date, by the novelist whom Jeffrey Eugenides calls "original, devious, and very funny."

The Eastern Valley High School Alumni newsletter, Catamount Notes, is bursting with tales of success: former students include a bankable politician and a famous baseball star, not to mention a major-label recording artist. Then there is the appalling, yet utterly loveable, Lewis Miner, class of '89—a.k.a. Teabag—who did not pan out.

Home Land is Teabag's confession in all its bitter, lovelorn, unforgettable glory.


Praise for Home Land

"Written as a series of unembroidered letters . . . Home Land is an energetic campaign against the art of the sunny update. This [novel] has an obvious forebear in Philip Roth's Portnoy's Complaint. Like Portnoy, [our protagonist] Miner piles clausal filigree upon clausal filigree to create a baroque edifice of seething irony . . . Home Land is not simply an account of life at the bottom of the food chain; Miner is too interesting a loser—in the face of his vast inconsequence, he remains unbowed."—Lizzie Skurnick, The New York Times Book Review

"Long adored for pitch-perfect short stories about melancsyte hit full comic stride with Home Land. Lipsyte's that rarest of writers: lyrical and laugh-out-loud funny."—New York Magazine

"[Home Land is] funny and sad and cruel and awful. It makes David Sedaris seem a little lightweight. It makes David Foster Wallace seem a little out of touch. It makes Rick Moody seem, well, unnecessarily Moody. It makes one laugh out loud while pondering all the ways in which all lives, invariably, go wrong . . . Lipsyte writes the way you wish you could talk. He's smart without pretense. He's funny when the situation most calls for tears. And in Miner, he's found the guy who sat in the back of your English class who you suspected was really stoned or really brilliant. It turns out that he's both . . . Home Land is the kind of book that gets passed around, underlined, dog-eared. It's the kind of book you give to the guy who says he doesn't like books."—Esquire

"Lipsyte's vision of our collective existence is so accurately skewed, there is no escaping the delirious—and beautifully disturbing—shock of recognition. Writing this deep is rare enough—writing this deep and this hysterical pretty much didn't exist until Lipsyte began pouring it onto the page."—Jerry Stahl, author of I, Fatty

"Genius. As eloquent and delirious a rant I've ever heard since Henry Miller . . . Lipsyte has the best male gaze in town and when he turns that gaze inwards I start to understand how we got to be where we are today, as a country and as a people."—Gary Shteyngart, author of The Russian Debutante's Handbook

"Lipsyte is playful and lewd, bleak and farcical, walking a fine line between near glib humour and a genuine existential fear one could even call Beckettian . . . Sam Lipsyte can really write."—Aida Edamariam, The Guardian

"Comic genius on every page. Lewis Miner speaks truth to power, part Lenny Bruce, part Leon Trotsky, with tiny hints of John Belushi and Camus in there, too. Holden Caulfield, fading poster boy for pissed-off alienated youth, comes to mind, not by way of comparison, but rather because Home Land would be his bible."—Thomas Beller

"A biting satire on the confused aspirations and ideals of American youth. Sam Lipsyte eulogizes the quiet disappointments of yesteryear's high school graduates through the voice of his anti-hero, Lewis Miner, a kind of Holden Caulfield for Generation X."—Marco Notarianni, The Times Literary Supplement

"Playful, serious as a death mask, inventive, filthy, and gifted as can be. [Lipsyte] takes on contemporary reality and gives it one hell of a fight . . . A despairing riot of laughs. Read it now."—Chris Roberts, Uncut

"A profoundly funny comic novel."—David Belcher, The Glasgow Herald

"I have no idea whether this is the way people talk, but I suspect it is, and that I've learned something. In any case, I was impressed, amused, and—since blurb writers like to list things in threes—moved by the events in Home Land. This Catamount really listened up."—Ann Beattie

Reviews from Goodreads



Read an Excerpt

Excerpt from Homeland by Sam Lipsyte. Copyright © 2004 by Sam Lipsyte. Published in 2005 by Picador, LLC. All rights reserved.

Feeling Is Not Quite the Word

It's confession time, Catamounts.
It's time you...

Read the full excerpt


  • Sam Lipsyte

  • Sam Lipsyte was born in 1968. He is the author of the story collection Venus Drive (named one of the top twenty-five books of its year by the Voice Literary Supplement) and the novel The Subject Steve. He lives in Astoria, Queens.

  • Sam Lipsyte © Robert Reynolds
    Sam Lipsyte




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