Horror Author Peter Straub Dead at 79

Peter Straub, a novelist whose depiction of the supernatural in books like Julia and Ghost Story often felt too big and too fantastical to really be defined by the limits of the horror genre, has died.

Peter Straub, celebrated horror author, dies aged 79 | Books | The Guardian

Peter Francis Straub was an American novelist and poet. He wrote numerous horror and supernatural fiction novels like The Talisman, which he co-wrote with Stephen King. Straub received such literary honors as the Bram Stoker Award, World Fantasy Award, and International Horror Guild Award.

Straub was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the son of Gordon Anthony Straub and Elvena (Nilsestuen) Straub. Straub was struck by a car at age seven, sustaining severe injuries. He was hospitalized for several months and temporarily used a wheelchair after being released until he had re-learned how to walk. Straub has said that the accident made him prematurely aware of his own mortality.

Straub earned an honors B.A. in English at the University of Wisconsin–Madison in 1965 and an MA at Columbia University a year later. He briefly taught English at Milwaukee Country Day, then moved to Dublin, Ireland, in 1969 to work on a Ph.D. and to start writing professionally.

An influence and friend to authors like Stephen King, Joe Hill, Neil Gaiman, and many more, Straub left an indelible mark on the world of horror and fantasy fiction, helping to elevate it from disregarded pulp to a genre of consequence and depth.
Straub died on Sunday at 79, his daughter, the author Emma Straub, confirmed on social media. His wife, Susan, told the New York Times he died from complications after breaking his hip.
 
Straub was a lifelong lover of an expert in jazz music; under the “Peter Straub Recommends” section of his website, many of the albums he lists are jazz. (The admiration between musicians and Straub was mutual: the indie legend Nick Cave took inspiration from Straub’s work for several songs.) He also briefly moonlighted as a soap opera actor, appearing on several episodes of “One Life to Live” as a former police detective.
 
Straub’s final novel, A Dark Matter, was published in 2010 and won a Bram Stoker award from the Horror Writers Association. He is survived by his wife, his daughter (novelist Emma Straub), his son (who runs a production company in charge of adapting his father’s work), and three grandchildren.

About Tiffany Padilla

Tiffany Padilla is a cryptid that enjoys anything horror and nerdy. They collect taxidermy frog purses and are best friends with the shadow person who lives in their closet. Tiffany's proudest nerd moment is they once played Tupac in a one-shot D&D campaign.

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