Together Straub and King penned 1984's The Talisman and its 2001 sequel, Black House.
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Peter Straub, the acclaimed author of horror and supernatural fiction novels such as Julia, Ghost Story, and The Talisman, the latter of which he wrote with his close friend Stephen King, died Sunday in New York at 79.

His daughter, Emma Fusco-Straub, a best-selling author in her own right, announced Straub's death Tuesday on social media. "Peter Francis Straub, the smartest and most fun person in every room he was ever in, 3/2/43 - 9/4/22," she wrote in an Instagram post featuring a photo of her father. "How lucky we were. There aren't enough words in the world."

Straub died at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital in Manhattan from complications after breaking a hip, his wife, Susan Straub, told The New York Times.

Straub was born March 2, 1943, in Milwaukee and had a love for storytelling from a young age. By his own admission, his interest in the macabre stemmed from an early childhood brush with death, when he was hit by a car.

Peter Straub
Peter Straub
| Credit: Yui Mok/PA Images/Getty

"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 in a biography on his website. "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."

Straub's first two books, Marriages and Under Venus, had mixed success, and it wasn't until 1975's Julia that he turned to the paranormal. His first widespread success came with his 1979 novel Ghost Story, about four aging men haunted by something they did inadvertently in their youth. The book was adapted into a 1981 film starring Fred Astaire and Alice Krige.

Straub is perhaps best known for his 1984 novel The Talisman and its 2001 sequel, Black House, both of which he penned with King. On Tuesday, King paid tribute to Straub on social media, writing, "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 also told the NYT that Straub 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."

Straub's lengthy bibliography also included If You Could See Me Now, Shadowland, Floating Dragon, Koko, Mystery, The Throat, The Hellfire Club, and A Dark Matter.

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

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