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John Whittier Treat was born and raised in New England, but has lived in the Pacific Northwest for four decades, as well as for many years in Japan and Korea. He now resides in Seattle with his husband, the mathematician Douglas Lind.


After teaching at Berkeley, Stanford, Washington and Texas, Treat is now an emeritus professor at Yale, and publishes fiction, essays and poetry in addition to continuing his academic pursuits. His 1995 book Writing Ground Zero: Japanese Literature and the Atomic Bomb (Chicago) won the John Whitney Hall Prize for Best Book in Japanese Studies. Great Mirrors Shattered: Orientalism, Homosexuality and Japan (Oxford, 1999) was a breakthrough memoir of life in Japan during its 1980s AIDS panic. In 2018, Chicago published his The Rise and Fall of Modern Japanese Literature, and he is currently at work on a story of Korean writers under Japanese rule, Too Close to the Sun: Collaboration in Korea and The World.


Treat's first novel, The Rise and Fall of the Yellow House (Big Table Publishing Company, 2015) took up the theme of the early years of the AIDS pandemic in the Northwest, was a finalist for the Lambda Literary Prize. He is the recipient of the Christopher Hewitt Prize in fiction, as well as a Pushcart Prize nomination for his short story, "The Pond." He is a 2020 alumnus of Antioch University's MFA Program in Creative Writing and was a 2021 June Dodge Fellow at the Mineral School writers residency. His poetry has aopeared in several magazines and book, including the anthology of Washington State poets, Washington 129 (Sage Hill Press, 2017).


A stutterer himself, Treat's new novel, First Consonants, is the story of a family of stutterers set in the Alaskan outback and will be published by Jaded Ibis Press in 2022. He is excited about his work-in-progress, The Sixth City of Refuge, the story about two young gay men, one HIV+ and the other a drug addict struggling to recover, who leave Los Angeles for rural Washington State and find their lives caught up with the local survivalist subculture.


Read more about John at his page in the Outwords Archive!