Susan Hinton

De Amerikaanse schrijfster Susan Eloise Hinton werd geboren op 22 juli 1948 in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Hinton schreef in de jaren 1960 een aantal bekroonde romans voor jongeren. Met haar eerste “The Outsider”, die verscheen in 1967, werd de 19-jarige op slag beroemd en men beschouwde haar meteen als de stem van de jeugd. Maar de druk van de verwachtingen leidde tot een drie jaar durende schrijfblokkade, die zij pas in 1971 overwon met “That Was Then, This Is Now”. In 1975 volgde de roman “Rumble Fish”, die net als The Outsider aan het begin van de jaren ’80 als een sjabloon voor films van Francis Ford Coppola diende, waarin veel acteurs van de zogenaamde “Brat Pack generatie” hun carrière begonnen. Matt Dillon speelde in “Rumble Fish” en ook in de filmversie van “Tex” de hoofdrol. In de eerste drie verfilmingen van haar boeken was Hinton ook zelf in een kleine rol te zien. In “The Outsider” speelde zij een verpleegkundige. Voor “Rumble Fish” schreef zij ook het scenario. Voor haar grote verdiensten voor de jeugdliteratuur ontving Hinton in 1988 de eerste Margaret A. Edwards Award van de American Library Association.

Uit: The Outsiders

“When I stepped out into the bright sunlight from the darkness of the movie house, I had only two things on my mind: Paul Newman and a ride home. I was wishing I looked like Paul Newman— he looks tough and I don’t— but I guess my own looks aren’t so bad. I have light-brown, almost-red hair and greenish-gray eyes. I wish they were more gray, because I hate most guys that have green eyes, but I have to be content with what I have. My hair is longer than a lot of boys wear theirs, squared off in back and long at the front and sides, but I am a greaser and most of my neighborhood rarely bothers to get a haircut. Besides, I look better with long hair.
I had a long walk home and no company, but I usually lone it anyway, for no reason except that I like to watch movies undisturbed so I can get into them and live them with the actors. When I see a movie with someone it’s kind of uncomfortable, like having someone read your book over your shoulder. I’m different that way. I mean, my second-oldest brother, Soda, who is sixteen-going-on-seventeen, never cracks a book at all, and my oldest brother, Darrel, who we call Darry, works too long and hard to be interested in a story or drawing a picture, so I’m not like them. And nobody in our gang digs movies  and books the way I do. For a while there, I thought I was the only person in the world that did. So I loned it.
Soda tries to understand, at least, which is more than Darry does. But then, Soda is different from anybody; he understands everything, almost. Like he’s n ever hollering at me all the time the way Darry is, or treating me as if I was six instead of fourteen. I love  Soda more than I’ve ever loved anyone, even Mom and Dad. He’s always happy-go-lucky and grinning, while Darry’s hard and firm and rarely grins at all. But then, Darry’s gone through a lot in his twenty years, grown up too fast. Sodapop’ll never grow up at all. I don’t know which way’s the best. I’ll find out one of these days. Anyway, I went on walking home, thinking about the movie, and then suddenly wishing I had some company. Greasers can’t walk alone too much or they’ll get jumped,“

Susan Hinton (Tulsa, 22 juli 1948)