Peter Straub, Stephen King Collaborator and Bestselling Horror Author, Dead at 79

Peter Straub
Yui Mok/PA Images via Getty Images

His daughter shared the sad news on Instagram Tuesday.

Peter Straub, the author of horror novels such as Julia, Ghost Story, and The Talisman, has died. He was 79. His daughter, Emma Fusco-Straub, also a best-selling author, shared the sad news on Instagram Tuesday.

"Peter Francis Straub, the smartest and most fun person in every room he was ever in, 3/2/43 - 9/4/22. How lucky we were. There aren’t enough words in the world," she wrote, alongside a slideshow of photos of her father over the years.

Straub died Sunday at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital in Manhattan, New York. His wife, Susan Straub, told The New York Times that the acclaimed author died from complications after breaking a hip.

Born in Milwaukee in 1943, Straub's interest in horror started early on, following his own brush with death after getting hit by a car. In a biography written on his website, Straub shared that "books took him out of himself," and helped him deal with the nightmares he encountered after the accident.

"Because he had learned prematurely that the world was dangerous, he was jumpy, restless, hugely garrulous in spite of his stutter, physically uncomfortable and, at least until he began writing horror three decades later, prone to nightmares," Straub wrote. "Books took him out of himself, so he read even more than earlier, a youthful habit immeasurably valuable to any writer. And his storytelling, for in spite of everything he was still a sociable child with a lot of friends, took a turn toward the dark and the garish, toward the ghoulish and the violent. He found his first 'effect' when he discovered that he could make this kind of thing funny."

After his first two books, Marriages and Under Venus, Straub made a staunch shift to horror and the supernatural, with 1975's Julia. He went on to write the widely successful novel, Ghost Story, in 1979, which was later made into a film starring Fred Astaire and Alice Krige. Straub's other credits include If You Could See Me NowShadowlandFloating DragonKokoMysteryThe ThroatThe Hellfire Club, and A Dark Matter.

He is best known, however, for his 1984 novel, The Talisman, which he co-wrote with Stephen King. The two collaborated again on the book's 2001 sequel, Black House

King took to Twitter to comment on Straub's passing, calling it "one of the great joys" of his creative life to have worked with the fellow author.

"It's a sad day because my good friend and amazingly talented colleague and collaborator, Peter Straub, has passed away. Working with him was one of the great joys of my creative life," King wrote.

King also spoke about Straub's passing to the NYT, telling the publication that he was "a unique writer in a lot of ways."

Adding, "He was not only a literary writer with a poetic sensibility, but he was readable. And that was a fantastic thing. He was a modern writer, who was the equal of say, Philip Roth, though he wrote about fantastic things."

In addition to his wife and daughter, Straub is survived by his son, Benjamin, and three grandchildren.