Critical Context

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Last Updated on May 13, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 106

A Separate Peace is acknowledged to be, by far, the best piece of writing produced by John Knowles. In 1960 it won the first William Faulkner Award for a writer’s first novel, as well as the 1960 Rosenthal Award of the National Institute of the Arts. By 1976, A Separate...

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A Separate Peace is acknowledged to be, by far, the best piece of writing produced by John Knowles. In 1960 it won the first William Faulkner Award for a writer’s first novel, as well as the 1960 Rosenthal Award of the National Institute of the Arts. By 1976, A Separate Peace had sold more than four million copies, and it continues to be one of the most widely read postwar American novels, particularly popular with teenage readers. A Separate Peace illustrates Knowles’s ability to penetrate and explore the workings of the interior mind with the skillful precision and objectivity necessary for a successful study of human psychology.

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Critical Evaluation