After the Novel Was Published What Did the Author Become Known as the Outsiders

After the Novel Was Published: What Did the Author Become Known as?


When a novel becomes a remarkable success, it not only solidifies the author’s place in literary history but also often leads to the author becoming known for a specific work. One such example is “The Outsiders,” a novel written by S.E. Hinton. Published in 1967, this coming-of-age story gained immense popularity and had a significant impact on young readers. As Hinton’s first novel, it not only launched her career but also established her as a prominent figure in young adult literature. This article will explore the journey of S.E. Hinton after the publication of “The Outsiders” and shed light on some frequently asked questions about her and her work.

I. Life after “The Outsiders”:

1. The success of “The Outsiders”:
“The Outsiders” instantly became a sensation among young readers due to its relatability and honest portrayal of teenage struggles. The novel, set in 1960s Oklahoma, delves into themes of class conflict, friendship, and identity. Its realistic depiction of teenage life resonated with readers, catapulting Hinton to literary stardom.

2. Pseudonym and gender ambiguity:
To ensure her work was taken seriously, Hinton initially opted to use her initials instead of her full name, Susan Eloise Hinton. This decision was also influenced by her editor’s belief that readers might be skeptical of a female author writing about male protagonists. Consequently, many readers were unaware of Hinton’s gender, further adding to the intrigue surrounding her.

3. Writing career:
Following the success of “The Outsiders,” Hinton continued to write novels that tackled similar themes of adolescence and societal issues. Works like “That Was Then, This Is Now” (1971), “Rumble Fish” (1975), and “Tex” (1979) further solidified her reputation as an influential writer in the young adult genre. Hinton’s novels often revolve around complex characters and explore the challenges of growing up in challenging environments.

4. Impact on literature and film:
“The Outsiders” not only left a lasting impression on readers but also made its mark in the film industry. In 1983, a film adaptation directed by Francis Ford Coppola was released, featuring a star-studded cast. The film received critical acclaim and further popularized Hinton’s work. The success of “The Outsiders” also paved the way for young adult literature as a distinct genre.

5. Awards and recognition:
S.E. Hinton’s contributions to literature have been widely recognized. In 1988, she received the Margaret A. Edwards Award for her significant and lasting contribution to young adult literature. Hinton’s work remains a staple in school curricula and is still beloved by readers of all ages.


1. Is S.E. Hinton still writing?
While Hinton’s last published novel, “Hawkes Harbor,” was released in 2004, she has expressed a desire to continue writing. However, she has also stated that she prefers to take her time and focus on quality rather than quantity.

2. Did S.E. Hinton write any other books besides “The Outsiders”?
Yes, S.E. Hinton has written several other novels, including “That Was Then, This Is Now,” “Rumble Fish,” “Tex,” and “Hawkes Harbor,” among others. Her works often explore similar themes of adolescence, friendship, and societal issues.

3. How did “The Outsiders” impact young adult literature?
“The Outsiders” was a groundbreaking novel that gave a voice to teenagers and addressed their struggles in an authentic manner. It opened doors for young adult literature to tackle more complex and realistic themes, influencing subsequent authors and shaping the genre.

4. Did S.E. Hinton face any challenges as a female author writing about male protagonists?
Hinton initially faced challenges due to the gender ambiguity surrounding her pseudonym. However, her work spoke for itself, and she ultimately became celebrated for her ability to authentically capture the male teenage experience.


“The Outsiders” marked the beginning of S.E. Hinton’s influential career as a writer. With this novel, she not only achieved immense success early in life but also revolutionized young adult literature. Hinton’s subsequent works continued to explore themes of adolescence and societal issues, solidifying her place as a literary pioneer. Through her writing, she captured the struggles and triumphs of teenage life, leaving a lasting impact on readers of all ages. S.E. Hinton’s legacy as the author of “The Outsiders” will forever be known as a defining moment in young adult literature.

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