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BEST AUTHOR ON THE VERGE OF A NERVOUS BREAKDOWN Phoenix 2007 - James Nulick

National Book Award-winning author William T. Vollmann called Nulick's 2006 book Distemper a "beautifully written catalog of various kinds of unhappiness." High praise, indeed, and a sublime understatement. The literary debut by the Iowa-born, Valley-based Nulick is a hallucinatory, pitch-black love story — set in Phoenix — that incorporates references as far afield as Hitler, Marilyn Manson, Warhol, Nabokov, Kafka, skateboard culture, beekeeping, the old let's-put-LSD-in-the-municipal-water-supply trick, and tow-truck drivers who've been driven to drink by hellcats on wheels.

"I tell people it's a love story," Nulick says. "It's about people who get obsessed with other people in ways that are unhealthy, plus there's kind of a riff on schizophrenia in there."

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