Twelve Years

by Joel Agee. Farrar,Straus & Giroux, $15.95. Because his stepfather was a writer in good Communist standing, Mr. Agee spent most of his youth in East Germany. His memoir of those years tells a great deal about adolescent sexual fumblings and bumblings and surprisingly little about East Germany. Its chief effect is to arouse sympathy for the author’s assorted schoolmasters, which can hardly be what Mr. Agee had in mind.