S. E. Hinton's career as an author began while she was still a student in high school in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Disturbed by the clashes of the two gangs in her high school, the Greasers and the Socs, Hinton wrote The Outsiders, an honest, sometimes shocking novel told from the point of view of a 14-year-old Greaser names Ponyboy Curtis. The Outsiders was published during Hinton's freshman year at college, and was an immediate sensation. The book was also made into a film in 1983, directed by Francis Ford Coppola and featuring budding young stars Tom Cruise, Matt Dillon, and Rob Lowe. The overnight success of The Outsiders brought a lot of pressure, resulting in a three-year-long writer's block. Her boyfriend (now husband) eventually helped break this block by suggesting she write two pages a day before going anywhere. This ultimately led to her second novel, That Was Then, This Is Now, which was also made into a film in 1985, starring Emilio Estevez. Ms. Hinton went on to write several other novels, including Rumble Fish and Tex. In 1988, she was awarded the first ever Margaret A. Edwards Award, given in honor of "an author whose book or books, over a period of time, have been accepted by young people as an authentic voice that continues to illuminate their experiences and emotions, giving insight into their lives." S. E. Hinton still lives in Oklahoma with her husband, where she enjoys writing, riding horses, and taking courses at the university.
Author of the 1967 YA bestseller The Outsiders and its sequels, several children's books and the adult novel Hawkes Harbor (2004), Hinton offers a thin collection of 14 connected short-short stories that explore the divergent lives of two close cousins whose fathers are killed in car accident when the boys are adolescents. When the cousins are both 25, a drug deal goes wrong: Terry is imprisoned, while Mike gets away, living a fugitive life in Oklahoma as a bartender and bouncer. The tales move back and forth in time: "The Sweetest Sound" describes nine-year-old Mike's being awakened during the night when his father, a war vet, cries out in his sleep; while "Full Moon Birthday" finds the boys sharing Mike's first legal drink and a friendly older woman. Later stories delve into Mike's dead-end, often dangerous job at the bar, and his attempt at striking up a friendship with his pretty adult-ed instructor. Finally, Terry gets out of prison to a tense homecoming. Hinton is clearly aiming for terse, but what's here feels bare bones; interviews with the author take up more space than these plainspoken tales. (Apr.) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.
Adult/High School-The stories in this book are all spare, less than 1000 words in length. Hinton takes her typical teen protagonists just a few years down the line into their mid-20s. They are a bit bitter and lacking in hope, but still retain a spark. The themes-prison rape, alcoholism, and adult despair-require maturity in a reader. Even so, there is humor and humanity, and Hinton's voice is both lucid and familiar. The book has a complicated premise involving the mysterious Tim, who is never mentioned anywhere except in the title. It's the significance this "barely there" character holds for Hinton that is intriguing and about which readers learn in the engaging interviews that make up the second half of the volume. She says, "You'd be surprised at how much you don't need in a story." Her paring down of words has resulted in tales that are immediate and gripping; they engage readers and push them to fill in the empty spaces, which are as thoughtfully crafted as the narratives. The plain-spoken language of this book makes it an excellent choice for struggling readers.-Emma Coleman, Berkeley Public Library, CA Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.
Well known for the YA classic novel The Outsiders, Hinton has written these connected adult stories in typical teen style with a keen ear for dialog. The stories feature bartender and bouncer Tim, who has taken the name of Mike, and his cousin Terry, who is serving a jail term owing to a drug bust. These two men have a unique background: their mothers are sisters and their fathers are brothers, so they have the same set of grandparents. Action scenes from the past and present make up much of this slim chronicle (only 67 pages). Even though the author effectively conveys the feeling of being trapped and manipulated, she should have written more about the two main characters; not fully fleshed out, they almost seem to be caricatures. Probably of most interest to the reader will be the interviews with the author that round out the book. Recommended for Hinton fans who want everything written by her.-Lisa Rohrbaugh, East Palestine Memorial P.L., OH Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.
"Some of Tim's Stories is a compact set of vignettes . . . Hinton
trims her prose close to the bone . . . and carves it into...sharp,
concise observation[s] . . . [that are] admirably direct." - "The
New York Times"
"Tales that are immediate and gripping; they engage readers and push them to fill in the empty spaces, which are as thoughtfully crafted as the narratives. The plain-spoken language of this book makes it an excellent choice for struggling readers." - "School Library Journal"