John Knowles

in Fairmont, West Virginia, The United States
September 16, 1926

November 29, 2001


John Knowles (September 16, 1926 - November 29, 2001), b. Fairmont, West Virginia, was an American novelist, best known for his novel A Separate Peace.

A 1945 graduate of the Phillips Exeter Academy in Exeter, New Hampshire, Knowles graduated from Yale University as a member of the class of 1949W. A Separate Peace is based upon Knowles' experiences at Exeter during the summer of 1943. The setting for The Devon School is a thinly veiled fictionalization of Phillips Exeter. The plot should not be taken as autobiographical, although many elements of the novel stem from personal experience. In his essay, "A Special Time, A Special Place," Knowles wrote:

The only elements in A Separate Peace which were not in that summer were anger, violence, and

Average rating: 3.56 · 175,506 ratings · 6,481 reviews · 40 distinct worksSimilar authors
A Separate Peace

3.56 avg rating — 173,786 ratings — published 1959 — 86 editions
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Peace Breaks Out

3.43 avg rating — 944 ratings — published 1981 — 7 editions
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3.54 avg rating — 177 ratings — published 1968 — 6 editions
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Indian Summer

3.39 avg rating — 137 ratings — published 1966
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The Paragon

3.37 avg rating — 75 ratings2 editions
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A Stolen Past

3.69 avg rating — 61 ratings — published 1983 — 2 editions
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Spreading Fires

3.12 avg rating — 33 ratings — published 1974 — 2 editions
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Morning In Antibes

3.35 avg rating — 20 ratings — published 1963 — 2 editions
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A Vein of Riches

3.76 avg rating — 17 ratings — published 1978 — 2 editions
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The Private Life of Axie Reed

3.67 avg rating — 15 ratings — published 1986
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More books by John Knowles…
“There was no harm in taking aim, even if the target was a dream.”
John Knowles, A Separate Peace

“I felt that I was not, never had been and never would be a living part of this overpoweringly solid and deeply meaningful world around me.”
John Knowles, A Separate Peace

“Everyone has a moment in history which belongs particularly to him. It is the moment when his emotions achieve their most powerful sway over him, and afterward when you say to this person "the world today" or "life" or "reality" he will assume that you mean this moment, even if it is fifty years past. The world, through his unleashed emotions, imprinted itself upon him, and he carries the stamp of that passing moment forever.”
John Knowles, A Separate Peace


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