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A Separate Peace | The Great American Read

A Separate Peace cover

A Separate Peace

by John Knowles

An American classic and great bestseller for decades, A Separate Peace is timeless in its description of adolescence during a period when the entire country was losing its innocence to World War II. Set at a boys' boarding school in New England during the early years of the war, A Separate Peace is the story of Gene, a lonely, introverted intellectual, and Phineas, 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.

John Knowles

John Knowles, who died in 2001, was a graduate of Phillips Exeter Academy and Yale University, as well as a recipient of the William Faulkner Award and the Rosenthal Award of the National Institute of Arts and Letters.