A Separate Peace by John KnowlesAn American classic and great bestseller for over thirty years, A Separate Peace is timeless in its description of adolescence during a period when the entire country was losing its innocence to the second world war.
Set at a boys boarding school in New England during the early years of World War II, A Separate Peace is a harrowing and luminous parable of the dark side of adolescence. Gene is a lonely, introverted intellectual. Phineas is a handsome, taunting, daredevil athlete. What happens between the two friends one summer, like the war itself, banishes the innocence of these boys and their world.
A bestseller for more than thirty years, A Separate Peace is John Knowles crowning achievement and an undisputed American classic.
Independent culture newsletter
Topics: Awarded Books , American Literature. His family's comfortable living allowed him to go the private preparatory school, Phillips Exeter Academy. He attended Yale University after his service ended and while there, wrote humor stories for The Yale Record. He also worked on the Yale Daily News. He continued his journalism after school with a job at the Hartford Courant and eventually as assistant editor at Holiday. It wasn't until prompted by friend and Pulitzer Prize winning author and playwright Thornton Wilder that he turned his attention seriously toward novels.
John Knowles won both critical and popular success with his first novel, A Separate Peace. In the 40 years since its publication, the novel has become a classic for both young adults and adult readers. Although he has written eight other novels, including Peace Breaks Out , which shares the prep school setting of the earlier novel, Knowles has not yet repeated the success of his first work. The author's reputation as a writer of fiction still rests on A Separate Peace. Knowles was born in , in Fairmont, West Virginia. He spent his childhood in the small town of a coal-mining region, attending public schools.
A Separate Peace is a coming-of-age novel by John Knowles , published in Based on his earlier short story "Phineas", published in the May issue of Cosmopolitan , it was Knowles's first published novel and became his best-known work. Gene Forrester returns to his old prep school, Devon a thinly veiled portrayal of Knowles's alma mater, Phillips Exeter Academy [ citation needed ] 15 years after he graduated, to visit two places he regards as "fearful sites": a flight of marble stairs and a big tree by the river from which he caused his friend, Phineas, to fall. First, he examines the stairs and notices that they are made of very hard marble. He then goes to the tree, which brings back memories of his time as a student at Devon. From this point, the novel follows Gene's description of the time from the summer of to the summer of In , he is 16 and living at Devon with his best friend and roommate, Phineas nicknamed Finny.
John Knowles was an American novelist best known for A Separate Peace In his essay, "A Special Time, A Special Place," Knowles wrote: "The only elements in A Separate Peace which were not in that.
a new companion to digital humanities
John Knowles , born Sept. Most of his works are psychological examinations of characters caught in conflict between the wild and the pragmatic sides of their personalities. He contributed articles to various publications during the s before becoming a full-time writer.
He was Although he wrote eight other novels, none received the acclaim he earned with his debut work, which received the William Faulkner Foundation Prize and inspired a movie. His avowedly autobiographical debut novel, he often acknowledged, made him famous and gave him financial security. One of the characters, Brinker, was based on Gore Vidal, who was a few years ahead of Knowles at Exeter in the mids. The two writers eventually became good friends.