The Outsiders Turns 50

Posted on March 15, 2017 at 8:00 am

It has been 50 years since S.E. Hinton wrote The Outsiders when she was just 16 years old. The book has become a classic for generations of teenagers ever since. Its gritty depiction of the world of the Greasers and the Socs inspired a new authenticity in the the genre of YA literature and some controversy as well — it is still banned in some places for its depiction of teen smoking, drinking, and violence.

The 1983 movie version directed by Francis Ford Coppola featured a cast of future superstars, including C. Thomas Howell, Rob Lowe, Emilio Estevez, Matt Dillon, Tom Cruise, Leif Garrett, Patrick Swayze, Ralph Macchio, and Diane Lane.

The New York Times noted the book’s half-century with an article on its origins and influence.

For Ms. Hinton, the book is something of a time capsule of her own emotionally driven teenage angst. “I think that’s why it still resonates with teens, because they feel like that,” she said. “Your feelings are over the top. You’re feeling and seeing injustice, and you’re standing up against it.”

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