Book Launch: “First Consonants” by John Whittier Treat
Hugo House welcomes author John Whittier Treat as he launches his new novel, First Consonants, the story of a boy who grows up a stutterer in the Pacific Northwest. Using his fists whenever words fail him, Brian's acts of violence are exacerbated by the abuse he suffers as a teenager at the hands of his parish priest and by others close to him. As an adult, he cannot shake the uncontrollable rage that he feels towards his family and the rest of speaking society. Ready to finish his life in isolation, Brian moves to Alaska. Here, he is confronted with the chance to redeem not just himself but the world.
Part reading and part discussion, John Whittier Treat will take us on a journey about stuttering in literature and its impact on conversations about disability. He will be joined in conversation with fellow author Felice Picano.
John Whittier Treat, a resident of Seattle since 1983, has published many short stories—one was a winner of the Christopher Hewitt Prize and another was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. He is the author of a novel, THE RISE AND FALL OF THE YELLOW HOUSE, which was a finalist was the 2016 Lambda Literary Foundation Prize for Best Gay Fiction, and a 2020 novella, MAID SERVICE. His opinion pieces have appeared in THE NEW YORK TIMES, HUFFINGTON POST, LITHUB and OUT magazine.
Felice Picano is the author of more than thirty books of poetry, fiction, memoirs, nonfiction, and plays. His work has been translated into many languages and several of his titles have been national and international bestsellers. He is considered a founder of modern gay literature along with the other members of the Violet Quill. Picano also began and operated the SeaHorse Press and Gay Presses of New York for fifteen years. His first novel was a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway Award. Since then he’s been nominated for and/or won dozens of literary awards. Picano teaches at Antioch College, Los Angeles.