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Jan. 28: ‘Yellow House’ author talks about AIDS in 1980s

By Debbie Brudie, Humanities Planning Group

Treat-by-Steve-Shelton-Images-webPULLMAN, Wash. – Love, relationships and the fear of AIDS in early 1980s Seattle will be the focus as author John Whittier Treat reads from his first novel, “The Rise and Fall of the Yellow House,” at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 28, in the Honors Hall lounge at Washington State University.

A Yale University professor emeritus of Japanese, Treat lives in Seattle and “is among the premiere writers in our region,” said Christopher Lupke, director of the WSU Humanities Planning Group, host of the free, public event.

Book cover, “The Rise and Fall of the Yellow House.”

Published in August 2015, “Yellow House” revisits aspects of the early years of the AIDS epidemic, focusing on the lives of two gay men in Seattle.

Treat is known for his literary scholarship of the modern era in Japan, said Lupke. Among other works, he wrote “Writing Ground Zero: Japanese Literature and the Atomic Bomb,” in 1996. He is a recipient of the John Whitney Hall Book Prize from the Association for Asian Studies.

He worked at Yale 1999-2014, retiring as professor of East Asian languages and literature after twice serving as department chair. He chaired the university’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Committee.

Treat received his B.A. degree in Asian studies from Amherst College and his M.A. and Ph.D. in East Asian languages and literatures from Yale.

The Humanities Planning Group proposes a Center for the Humanities at WSU to make humanities accessible and to underscore its integral nature to intellectual life and society. Learn more at


Christopher Lupke, WSU Humanities Planning Group chair, 509-335-0698,
Debbie Brudie, WSU Humanities Planning Group manager, 509-335-0698,



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