Bloom, Harold, ed. John Knowles’ “A Separate Peace.” New York: Chelsea House, 2000. A useful collection of critical essays, excellent for students reading the novel in class.
Bryant, Hallman Bell. “A Separate Peace”: The War Within. Boston: Twayne, 1990. One of Twayne’s masterwork studies, this is a helpful guide for the student of the novel. Includes bibliographical references and an index.
Bryant, Hallman Bell. Understanding “A Separate Peace”: A Student Casebook to Issues, Sources, and Historical Documents. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 2002. Extensive background material for the study of Knowles’s novel.
Degnan, James. “Sex Ex Machina and Other Problems.” The Kenyon Review 31 (Spring, 1969): 272-277. By analyzing “Phineas,” the source of material for A Separate Peace, Degnan shows how Knowles succeeds when he adheres to treating the torments of the sensitive intelligent male adolescent. In other novels, however, he fails because he leaves this theme.
Holborn, David G. “A Rationale for Reading John Knowles’ A Separate Peace.” In Censored Books: Critical Viewpoints, edited by Nicholas J. Karolides, Lee Burress, and John M. Kean. Metuchen, N.J.: Scarecrow Press, 1993. An essay championing the novel and its importance in the literary canon.
McEwen, Fred. “John Knowles: Overview.” In Twentieth-Century Young Adult Writers, edited by Laura Standley Berger. London: St. James Press, 1994. A standard introduction to the author and his works.
Weber, Ronald. “Narrative Method in A Separate Peace.” Studies in Short Fiction 3 (Fall, 1965): 63-72. To show how Knowles’s narrative method relates to his themes, Weber explores comparisons with J. D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye (1951). He shows how, because he is such a precise craftsman, Knowles provides the clearer statement about life.