CHRISTOPHER Koch's final chapter was written at 2am last Monday, in the same city where his story began.
The Hobart-born author was considered one Australia's foremost fiction writers, and a master of capturing the sense of a place.
This was particularly true of his home state.
Author Amanda Lohrey said of Koch last week: "His knowledge of the Hobart area - particularly the 1950s and '60s - was astounding.
"He was a beautiful stylist who really could evoke time and place."
At 81 - and having been diagnosed with cancer shortly before his final book was released last year - Koch's passing has been hailed as the end of an era for Australian literature.
The dual Miles Franklin Award- winner was raised and educated in Hobart, and married his first wife Irena at the city's St Marys cathedral in 1960.
In 1970, after a stint on the mainland with the ABC, he moved to Launceston.
It was here that Koch wrote his most recognised work: The Year of Living Dangerously, based on his younger brother Philip's experiences in Vietnam.
Christopher Pearce, owner of the Hobart Book Store, and a friend of Koch, said the pair met in the 1970s.
"Chris used to take his poetry in to my father, who was also a bookseller, to get his opinion," Mr Pearce said.
"Chris was a very humble man, and he read very deeply of other people's works. He was always very pleased and a bit amazed that people liked his work so much."
Koch began writing full-time while he was in Launceston, staying in the city until the early 1980s, following his divorce from Irena.
He was away for about seven years, during which he produced The Doubleman, but returned in the early '90s and bought a house close to Irena and their son Gareth.
Koch eventually settled at Richmond, and his final novel, 2012's Lost Voices, featured early 20th- century scenery of Hobart, New Town, Moonah and Glenorchy.
Petrarch's Book Store owner Peter Durkin said he had been forced to order in a number of Koch's titles last week.
"A lot of writers have their day, then they drop off," he said.
"But (Koch's) books have always continued to sell."