Susan Eloise Hinton (better known as S. E. Hinton) is an American author who is best known for writing young adult fiction. The Outsiders was Hinton's first published book in 1967; Hinton wrote the book at the age of seventeen. Hinton based the characters, the Greasers and the Socs, off of teenage gangs and alienated youth in her hometown of Tulsa, Oklahoma during the 1960s. The Outsiders has sold over fourteen million copies since it was published. In 1983, The Outsiders became a movie, and was later released onto DVD. After experiencing a writer's block and going into a state of depression, Hinton met somebody in her freshmenbiology class, who inspired her to continue writing.
Hinton followed the advice given to her and wrote her second novel, That Was Then, This Is Now in 1971. Following that, she wrote her shortest novel, Rumble Fish; it was published in 1975 after she had published a short story version in a 1968 edition of University of Tulsa's Alumni Magazine. Four years later in 1979, Tex was published and would be Hinton's last book for nine years as she devoted her time to raise her child. Hinton's next novel Taming the Star Runner was her first book that wasn't written in first-person point of view. Seven years after Taming the Star Runner, Hinton released her first children's book, Big David, Little David, which followed with the release of The Puppy Sister in 1995. In 2004, Hawkes Harbor, Hinton's first adult novel, was released. Hinton's most recent book, Some of Tim's Stories, was published in 2007 and is Hinton's third children's book. Overall, Hinton has written nine published books.
Hinton has won many awards for her books. Hinton has won the "ALA Best Books for Young Adults Award" four times; she won the award for That Was Then, This Is Now (in 1971), Rumble Fish (in 1975) and for Tex and Taming the Star Runner (in 1979). Hinton has also won a "School Library Journal Best Books of the Year Award" for Rumble Fish (in 1975), and Tex and Taming the Star Runner (in 1979). In 1979, Hinton received three other awards for both Tex and Taming the Star Runner. Hinton's first and only award for a children's book is the "Parent's Choice Silver Honor Book Award," which she won for The Puppy Sister. Overall, Hinton has won 19 awards from 21 nominations.
Awards won by S. E. Hinton
|That Was Then, This Is Now|
|Taming The Star Runner|
|The Puppy Sister|
- "Books". SEHinton.com. Retrieved 2008-11-02.
- ^ abSmith, Dinitia (2005-09-07). "An Outsider, Out of the Shadows". New York Times. Retrieved 2008-11-01.
- ^"Biography". SEHinton.com. Retrieved 2008-11-01.
- ^Smith, Dinitia (2005-09-07). "An Outsider, Out of the Shadows (page 2)". New York Times. Retrieved 2008-11-01.
- ^ abc"That Was Then, This Is Now". SEHinton.com. Retrieved 2008-10-30.
- ^ abcd"Rumble Fish". SEHinton.com. Retrieved 2008-10-30.
- ^ abcde"Tex". SEHinton.com. Retrieved 2008-10-30.
- ^ abcde"Taming The Star Runner". SEHinton.com. Retrieved 2008-10-30.
- ^ abc"Tbe Puppy Sister". SEHinton.com. Retrieved 2008-10-30.
- ^"The Outsiders". Barnes & Noble. Retrieved 2008-11-01.
- ^"The Outsiders". Books-A-Million. Retrieved 2008-11-01.
- ^"That Was Then, This Is Now". Barnes & Noble. Retrieved 2008-11-01.
- ^"That Was Then, This Is Now". Books-A-Million. Retrieved 2008-11-01.
- ^"Rumble Fish". Barnes & Noble. Retrieved 2008-11-01.
- ^"Rumble Fish". Books-A-Million. Retrieved 2008-11-01.
- ^"Tex". Barnes & Noble. Retrieved 2008-11-01.
- ^"Tex". Books-A-Million. Retrieved 2008-11-01.
- ^"Taming the Star Runner". Barnes & Noble. Retrieved 2008-11-01.
- ^"Taming the Star Runner". Books-A-Million. Retrieved 2008-11-01.
- ^"Big David, Little David". SEHinton.com. Retrieved 2008-10-30.
- ^"Big David, Little David". Barnes & Noble. Retrieved 2008-11-01.
- ^"The Puppy Sister". Barnes & Noble. Retrieved 2008-11-01.
- ^"Hawkes Harbor". SEHinton.com. Retrieved 2008-10-30.
- ^"Hawkes Harbor". Barnes & Noble. Retrieved 2008-11-01.
- ^"Hawkes Harbor". Books-A-Million. Retrieved 2008-11-01.
- ^"Some of Tim's Stories". SEHinton.com. Retrieved 2008-10-30.
- ^"Some of Tim's Stories". Barnes & Noble. Retrieved 2008-11-01.
- ^"Some of Tim's Stories". Books-A-Million. Retrieved 2008-11-01.
The Outsiders Author/Context
Susan Eloise Hinton was born in 1948, and has spent most of her life in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Those who know her work may be surprised that she is a woman, since her narrators are almost always teenage boys. Her simple explanation is, "I've always been a tomboy." She would usually rather talk about her horses than her writing, since she has answered so many of the same questions in interviews over the years. She wrote The Outsiders as a sixteen year old loner at a high school where almost everyone belonged to one group or another. After a boy not unlike Dallas Winston was killed by the police, she decided, like Ponyboy at the end of the story, to tell the world about life in her hometown. Though the town is never named in The Outsiders, it is recognizable as Tulsa. This is true for most of her books, even when she names the town something else. Her ideas about important stories have never strayed far from home. She remembers herself as able to talk to all different groups in high school, since she didn't belong to any of them. This allowed her to see "the big picture" better than most. She understood that the fighting between gangs was useless, because every kid was an individual, not just a unit in a group. She wanted to write about boys because, she says, at that time girls didn't do much. They waited around for their boyfriends, concentrating on their hair and makeup. She didn't want to be that way, so she spent time with boys and wrote about them. She felt that the books for people her age lacked realism. (She describes them as "Mary Jane Goes to the Prom.") She wanted a book that would reflect the experiences she saw going on around her. No book at that time described what some kids her age had to deal with. She decided to write one.
While today there are many books about drugs, gangs, abusive families, etc., Hinton's stories stand out because they confront issues like these, but they are not about these issues. They are about individuals, like Ponyboy and Dallas and Johnny--three very different boys who happen to belong to the same social group. Hinton usually writes her stories in the first person, to reinforce the strong individual identities of her characters. Her other stories include Tex, about a teenager who loves horses. When his brother sells his horse to pay the bills, Tex is determined to find the horse and get him back. Rumble Fish, another story about teenage life, tells the story of Rusty-James, who fights, gets drunk, and wishes for something better. Hinton says that she wrote Rusty-James' character as different from many of her other narrators. He is not as intelligent or observant. She says that this was very frustrating for her, because she wanted to write beautiful sentences, but she knew he wouldn't say beautiful things. She wanted the story to be realistic. She believes her stories are still relevant today, especially in a time of gang violence and school shootings. She has always believed that teenagers had important thoughts and experiences, and they needed to be treated as important. Hinton has also written several books for young children, inspired by her son Nick. She has said will always find her inspiration in her own experiences.
S.E. Hinton is one of the most popular children's writers, and has been so for decades. Several popular movies have been made of her books. Though she was afraid at first that a movie version would destroy her original intentions for the story, she soon found that wasn't true. The first movie, Tex, which starred Matt Dillon, made her realize that movies could be as effective as books at telling a story. Matt Dillon returned to star in both The Outsiders and Rumble Fish, and Hinton and the then-young actor became friends. The Outsiders showcased several now-famous actors, including Tom Cruise. Hinton's work became better known because of the movies. She has been accepted as an important writer by both critics and young readers.
Daly, Jay. Presenting S.E. Hinton. Boston: Twayne Publishers, 1987.
Hinton, S.E. The Outsiders. U.S.: Penguin, 1967.
Fleming, Thomas. "The Outsiders." New York Times Book Review. 7 May 1967, pt. 2, 10.