In 1972 A Separate Peace was filmed by Paramount. The studio was unable to find a writer or director with the requisite cinematic genius to find images to correspond to the moods of Knowles’s writing. Aside from the title and some scenes taken directly from the book, the film bears little resemblance to the novel and has been deservedly forgotten.
Knowles based A Separate Peace on a short story entitled “Phineas” that he had written about ten years earlier. The short story ends at the point where Gene goes to confess to Finny that he is responsible for Finny’s fall from the tree. Knowles published “Phineas” in 1968 as part of the short story collection Phineas: Six Stories. The follow-up novel to A Separate Peace, Peace Breaks Out, serves as an interesting commentary on the post-World War II era.