Peter Straub This article is about Peter Straub the novelist. For the German statesman, see Peter Straub (politician). Peter Francis Straub, born March 2, 1943 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States, is a writer of fiction and poetry, best known as a horror-genre author.
After mixed success with two attempts at literary mainstream novels in the mid-1970s (Marriages and Under Venus, the latter not published until he had gained fame for his horror writing), Peter Straub dabbled in the supernatural for the first time with Julia (1976) and If You Could See Me Now (1977) and came to widespread public attention with his fifth novel, Ghost Story (1979), which was a critical success and loosely adapted into the 1981 film starring Fred Astaire. Several increasingly successful horror novels followed, including The Talisman, a fantasy-horror collaboration with Stephen King.
Following a brief fallow period, Straub re-emerged in 1988 with Koko, a nonsupernatural (though often horrific) Vietnam novel. Koko was followed in the early '90s by the related novels Mystery and The Throat, which together with Koko make up the "Blue Rose Trilogy". These complex and intertwined novels extended Straub's explorations into metafiction and unreliable narrators.
In 1996, Straub returned to occult themes with The Hellfire Club, which applied the lessons learned in the Blue Rose period to a novel of the supernatural, followed by Mr. X, dealing with a doppelgĂ¤nger theme. In 2001, Straub and King reteamed for Black House, a loose sequel to The Talisman tying that book in with King's Dark Tower Series. 2003 saw the publication of a new Straub novel Lost Boy, Lost Girl followed by the related In the Night Room (2004).
He is the editor of the Library of America selection of the writings of H.P. Lovecraft. His novel Mr. X also paid tribute to Lovecraft's distinctive writing style, as the eponymous Mr. X wrote in a similar style.
Straub has also published several books of poetry.
Significant detail about the two collaborations with King may be found at http://www.horrorking.com. A critical essay on Straub's horror work can be found in S. T. Joshi's book The Modern Weird Tale (2001). At the Foot of the Story Tree, by Bill Sheehan, discusses Straub's work before 2000.
Rumors continue to circulate that King and Straub may collaborate on a final novel, finishing the tale of Jack Sawyer and the Talisman.