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08/12/2010

Elaine Koster, who backed Stephen King and Khaled Hosseini, dies at 69

August 12, 2010 | 11:36 am

Elaine Koster, a publisher and literary agent who gave a second chance to an obscure horror writer named Stephen King and took on an unknown Khaled Hosseini and his novel "The Kite Runner," has died. She was 69.

Hosseini's publisher, Penguin Group (USA), said Koster died Tuesday at St. Luke's Hospital in New York. The cause of death was not immediately available.

As publisher of the New American Library in the 1970s, Koster paid a then-enormous $400,000 for the rights to King's "Carrie" and was later credited with helping to make a blockbuster out of Erica Jong's "Fear of Flying."

As an agent, she was quickly drawn to Hosseini's manuscript for "The Kite Runner." Thanks to word of mouth, millions of copies of the book have been sold.

-- Associated Press

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