Acclaimed horror author and Stephen King collaborator Peter Straub dies at 79

From his seminal 1979 novel Ghost Story:

Influence on writers like and friends Stephen KingJoe Hill, Neil Gaiman Straub has left an indelible mark on the world of horror and fantasy fiction, helping to lift the genre from neglected pulp to a genre of consequence and depth.
Born in Wisconsin, Stroub’s childhood was shattered by a traumatic event in first grade. website), an incident that left a nightmare for almost 30 years of his life—that is, until he began writing horror fiction.
“I was a lot less kid than I used to be,” he said of the accident in a 2016 interview. salon“Once I understood the results, I was much more able to deal with them. It also meant that the material was available for conscious thematic use.”
After publishing two novels with little fanfare, Straub first ventured into the supernatural with 1975’s Julia. However, it was “Ghost Story” that became his breakthrough. It is the story of four elderly men who exchange ghost stories until they suspect they are possessed by them.Both of those books later Film adaptation.

“Ghost Story” made Straub a lifelong fan and occasional collaborator of King magazine. King had by then published books such as “Carrie” and “The Shining.” (Their output has helped cement genre fiction as a legitimate art form.) The two are set in his 1984 adventure trying to save his mother’s life while navigating a perilous parallel universe. They collaborated on the fantasy epic “Talisman,” which follows a young boy, and again on the 2001 sequel. .

King, in response to the news of Straub’s death, called Their collaboration is “one of the great joys of[his]creative life.”

Straub used his writing not only as a vessel for childhood trauma, but as a means of exploring the more painful elements of being alive. In his work, he explored themes such as childhood bullying, family loss, abuse, and suicide.

“There are a lot of things that people generally want to avoid, but I’m temperamentally unavoidable,” she told Salon. “This sort of thing is very important in allowing us to see what’s going on around us in a proper way.”

Straub continued to write throughout his life, from the 1988 Vietnam War-inspired Coco to the 2016 collection of short stories Interior Darkness. He resisted categorizing his work solely as horror — there were certainly elements of the macabre and supernatural, but he found them to be as complex as his,’ he said I have written on his website.

Straub was loved by fellow writers

Fear aside, Straub had a fulfilling personal life. keep Susan Straub started a long-running “Read to Me” literacy program that encourages mothers to read to their young children. established. The pair had two children, Ben and Emma.
Straub was a lifelong lover and expert in jazz music. “Recommended by Peter Straub” On his website section, many of the albums he lists are jazz. (The admiration between musician and Strobe was mutual: indie legend Nick Cave inspired From Straub’s work on several songs.) He also moonlighted briefly as an actor on soap operas and appeared in several episodes of “One Life to Live” as a former police detective.

His daughter recently published “This Time Tomorrow”, a fiction loosely inspired by the months she visited Straub in 2020 when he was hospitalized with heart disease. In her book, a woman visiting her ailing father in her hospital suddenly travels back in time to her 16th birthday and is reunited with her young and energetic father.

“That book and our mutual understanding did not doubt for a moment that when he passed away, he knew how grateful I was to be his. I have written on Twitter after his father’s death
Fellow horror writers remembered Peter Straub as a friend as kind as he was talented.Joe Hill, writer, son of the King, called He’s “the most incredible nice guy to kids” and a “great f********g writer.” Neil Gaiman also praised his work, remembered One of “(his) best friends ever known,” Straub performed a difficult crow yoga pose in a Wisconsin men’s restroom.
In a 2016 interview, Straub shared his deep thoughts on loss and grief through the lens of horror fiction. Publisher’s Weekly.

“Loss befalls us all. Loss is half the human story,” he told the publication. Our knowledge of such exalted states consists largely of their existence being retained in memory.Adult humans live with the certainty of grief. It deepens us and opens us up to other people who have been there.”


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