Amazon.com Widgets
James Frey Official Website
Join the JAMES FREY mailing list
Click

Stay gold, Ponyboy

from The New York Times

The Enduring Spell of ‘The Outsiders’

S. E. Hinton’s 1967 coming-of-age novel credited teenagers with a rich interior life. Here, a tribute to the book that created young adult fiction as we know it today.

By Lena Dunham

IT WAS FRESHMAN year of college and I fancied myself someone, well, fancy. Someone who loved fancy books and fancy men. Fancy bags and fancy restaurants. I was working overtime to appear unfazed, and it was moving along about as smoothly as the Sochi Olympics. Across the Intro to Genealogy classroom sat a boy who looked like a man but was, by virtue of being 19, still a boy — dark hair and dark eyes, a denim jacket so stiff it looked starched. He barely spoke but knew all the answers, while I spoke all the time and knew none.

I was leaving in the spring, transferring to a school that my mother considered more “academically rigorous,” and it was my soon-to-be-outta-here sense of abandon that allowed me to approach him one day after class: “Hey, did you know you look like the lead singer of the Cure?”

He looked at me quizzically. “Who’s that?” he asked. I stuttered — the fact was, I didn’t actually know. I’d seen a photo of Robert Smith in another kid’s dorm room and wasn’t expecting to be questioned, but instead to receive the kind of insider approval that usually accompanied a display of hipster knowledge. (This was the privilege of not having to consider the consequences of any action, great or small, that is endemic to upper-middle-class white girls everywhere.) I stammered: “Your hair is … I mean, your faces both kind of look …” He stared.

I changed tactics.

“I’m transferring,” I haughtily informed him.

“Oh, are you?” He jutted his chin out toward me: “O.K., then … stay gold, Ponyboy.”

[ click to continue reading at NYT ]

Posted on September 8, 2018 by Editor

Filed under Literary News | | No Comments »