The Rise and Fall of Modern Japanese Literature
Described as "saucy but erudite" by leading Japanese novelist Minae Mizumura, this history of Japanese literature from the 1870s to the present day breaks new ground in explaining how Japan writers have participated in modernity but remained unlike quite unlike those in the rest of the world.

The Rise and Fall of the Yellow House
Jeff and other newcomers to Seattle find their lives crossing paths in the Yellow House, a sprawling old home at the top of Capital Hill, Seattle's gay and lesbian neighborhood. Tragedy and healing bring Jeff and his new friends together in a story that ends in an epiphany few readers will anticipate.

Great Mirrors Shattered
Beneath this is one of the richest and most original examinations of Asian homosexual culture in recent memory. Treat presents an intensely detailed examination of the devastating effect of AIDS... on conservative, insular Japanese society. He combines elements of postmodernism and journalism, deftly interlacing personal details with scholarly and pop-culture references and streaks of erotica, while shifting between layers of personal and historical time and place. Highly recommended for gay studies, human sexuality and Asian studies collections in all libraries. Richard Violette, Special Libraries Cataloguing, Victoria, BC.

Writing Ground Zero: Japanese Literature and the Atomic Bomb
From Einstein and Truman to Sartre and Derrida, many have declared the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki to be decisive events in human history. None, however, have more acutely understood or perceptively critiqued the consequences of nuclear war than Japanese writers. In this first complete study of the nuclear theme in Japanese intellectual and artistic life, John Whittier Treat shows how much we have to learn from Japanese writers and artists about the substance and meaning of the nuclear age.

Treat recounts the controversial history of Japanese public discourse around Hiroshima and Nagasaki—a discourse alternatively celebrated and censored—from August 6, 1945, to the present day. He includes works from the earliest survivor writers, including Hara Tamiki and Ota Yoko, to such important Japanese intellectuals today as Oe Kenzaburo and Oda Makoto. Treat argues that the insights of Japanese writers into the lessons of modern atrocity share much in common with those of Holocaust writers in Europe and the practitioners of recent poststructuralist nuclear criticism in America. In chapters that take up writers as diverse as Hiroshima poets, Tokyo critics, and Nagasaki women novelists, he explores the implications of these works for critical, literary, and cultural theory.

Treat summarizes the Japanese contribution to such ongoing international debates as the crisis of modern ethics, the relationship of experience to memory, and the possibility of writing history. This Japanese perspective, Treat shows, both confirms and amends many of the assertions made in the West on the shift that the death camps and nuclear weapons have jointly signaled for the modern world and for the future.

Selected Works

A history of modern Japanese literature from the nineteenth century to the present.
The first history of Japan's literary and cultural response to the unprecedented use of nuclear weapons in Hiroshima and Nagasaki
A novel about gay lives in 1980s Seattle
John, a teacher living in Tokyo, encounters AIDS panic in 1980s Japan.

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