Shared from the 2017-03-13 Chattanooga eEdition

Stay gold: Teen novel ‘The Outsiders’ turns 50

TULSA, Okla. — On a particularly windy day in the Crutchfield neighborhood here, writer S.E. Hinton was touring the renovations of the future Outsiders House m u s e u m . Th e r u n d ow n Craftsman bungalow was where the Curtis brothers — Darry, Sodapop and Ponyboy — lived in the 1983 Francis Ford Coppola movie based on Hinton’s book, “The Outsiders.”

The book, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this month, was arguably one of the most influential young adult books of its time, and leading this tour was the self-described fanboy Danny O’Connor, 48, who made his own contribution to pop- culture history as a member of the 1990s hip-hop group House of Pain.

O’Connor, who lives in Beverly Hills, California, bought the Outsiders House for $15,000 in 2016, determined to turn it into a museum. During the recent tour, O’Connor was showing Hinton a first-edition hard cover of “The Outsiders,” pointing out a wide paper sash wrapped around the jacket that read in bright orange, “A remarkable novel about teenagers, for teenagers, by a teenager.”

No matter that the book is 50 years old, or that the movie was filmed in this part of town more than three decades ago. Once you’re a fan of “The Outsiders,” you’re always a fan of “The Outsiders.”

Since “The Outsiders” was first published in 1967, more than 15 million copies have been sold. It is a constant on middle-school and high-school reading lists and has been translated into 30 languages. Fanfiction.net counts 8,100 stories based on the book. The hashtag #staygold, which is inspired by a Robert Frost poem that appears in the book, is attached to more than 300,000 Instagram posts. Search the internet for “stay gold” and you’ll find both the name of a cafe on the Jersey Shore and a Swedish rock band’s debut album.

That “The Outsiders” has permeated the culture so deeply is still somewhat surreal to even Hinton. “The rest of my books I wrote, but ‘The Outsiders’ was meant to be written. I got chosen to write it,” she said. “That’s the only way I can deal with it.”

For Hinton, the book is something of a time capsule of her own emotionally driven teenage angst.

When Hinton was 16, after failing creative writing in her junior year of high school, she wrote “The Outsiders.” The teacher who failed her was not happy that Hinton liked to mention this in every interview. She sold the book when she was 17. It was published when she turned 18. It has, quite literally, always been part of her life.

See this article in the e-Edition Here