True to her form and personality, Tulsa author
S.E. Hinton humbled herself to her audience of
fans and friends on her induction into the Oklahoma
Writers Hall of Fame.
"I wish I could deserve all this stuff people are
saying about me," Hinton told the audience, gathered
Saturday night at the Philbrook Museum of Art.
"I'm just a storyteller."
Hinton, the award- winning author of such novels
as "The Outsiders," "Rumble Fish" and "Tex," earned
critical acclaim for her sharp insights into the
lives of troubled teen-agers. Her fiction continues
to be a favorite staple on teen reading lists.
On her dedicated night, several friends and colleagues
spoke and reminisced about the famed Hinton, even
presenting a video of film adaptations of her
books. The video included cameo appearances Hinton
made in each film.
The wide appeal of Hinton's writing manifest with
all four of her novels adapted into major Hollywood
Hinton first gained fame as a teen-ager in the
late 1960s when "The Outsiders" was published.
The novel started a new genre of adolescent books.
So the book would appeal to both sexes, Hinton
used her initials rather than her full name, Susan
Over the next 20 years, Hinton would write more
novels of issues involving teens. Last year was
the 30th anniversary of "The Outsiders," second
on the all-time list of bestselling children's
books after "Charlotte's Web." More than 8 million
copies have sold with schools across the country
requiring the novel for reading.
The media-shy Hinton talked about her fame as a
writer with the wit and humor friends had spoken
about during the night.
"When I get dressed up and go to a nice restaurant
I don't get recognized. But if I go into (a store)
with unwashed hair, a group will form."
Hinton had been on a hiatus from writing until
a couple of years ago with the release of two
children's books "Big David, Little David"
and "The Puppy Sister." The two books are light-
hearted and sweet compared to the rough-and-tumble
depictions of her earlier works.
The Rogers High School and 1969 University of Tulsa
graduate describes herself as an introvert. While
writing "The Outsiders" during her days at Rogers,
it was anger over how her classmates raged into
attacks so easily.
Hinton told the audience that good storytelling
may not tell it right but tells it best.
"Romeo and Juliet was told 100 times before Shakespeare
got it right."
It was in 1983 that famous movie director Francis
Ford Coppola obtained the movie rights to the
"The Outsiders" and asked Hinton to co-write the
Hinton has never left Tulsa and resides with her
husband, David Inhofe, and son Nick.
She said it's nice to have a hall of fame for people
who like to stare out a window. "If you put me
in the hall of fame because of my storytelling,
then you might as well put me in for breathing
because I can't help it."
The Oklahoma Writers Hall of Fame started in 1991
and with the addition of Hinton has inducted 25
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