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Archives: S. E. Hinton

31 Questions: Some Answers

31 Questions: Some Answers

Earlier this year I posted a link to a most excellent piece: Stephen Burt’s THIRTY-ONE QUESTIONS AND TWELVE APOLOGIES BY WAY OF A THANK-YOU NOTE FOR THE 2013 VIDA COUNT, and at the time I promised to write in response some of the questions. Life intervened, but I did want to return to that project, if only because I was so deeply stimulated by the original article. Here’s the first post:

Stephen Burt’s Question #9:

Is it possible to read a piece of literary writing without imagining that the author has an age, or a profession, or an ethnic identification, or a height, or a weight, or a race?

Well, yes, maybe, but which of us has the opportunity to read anything with the identifying information redacted—other than contest judges that is. For the rest of us, the publisher conveniently plasters images of the author on the cover and everything else we want to know is neatly summarized in the biographical notes. The message couldn’t be clearer: A person like you will enjoy reading something by a person like this.

Adventures in Diversity: Nothing Gold Can Stay


On National Shame Undergraduate Slackers Day, which at SMU we celebrate at least once a month, (if not more), I always bring up S.E. Hinton, who began working on The Outsiders while still in high school and published it during her freshman year in college.  It has since become an enduring classic of young adult literature and sells on average of 500,000 copies a year.  (So I want you slackers think real hard about that when you hand me your little three-paged, whiney, wrote-this-morning-while-still-drunk, not-so-thinly-disguised memoirs.)


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