The Outsiders is a coming-of-age novel by S. E. Hinton, first published in 1967 by Viking Press. Hinton was 15 when she started writing the novel but did most of the work when she was 16 and a junior in high school. Hinton was 18 when the book was published. The book details the conflict between two rival gangs divided by their socioeconomic status: the working-class "greasers" and the upper-class "Socs" (pronounced /ˈsoʊʃɪz/—short for Socials). The story is told in first-person perspective by teenaged protagonist Ponyboy Curtis.