Bestselling author Amor Towles (A GENTLEMAN IN MOSCOW and RULES OF CIVILITY) discusses how he honed his craft—with lots of reading.
A GENTLEMAN IN MOSCOW
From the New York Times bestselling author of Rules of Civility—a transporting novel about a man who is ordered to spend the rest of his life inside a luxury hotel
“In all ways a great novel, a nonstop pleasure brimming with charm, personal wisdom, and philosophic insight . . .this book more than fulfills the promise of Towles’ stylish debut, Rules of Civility.” – Kirkus Reviews (starred)
With his breakout debut novel, Rules of Civility, Amor Towles established himself as a master of absorbing, sophisticated fiction, bringing late 1930s Manhattan to life with splendid atmosphere and a flawless command of style. Readers and critics were enchanted; as NPR commented, “Towles writes with grace and verve about the mores and manners of a society on the cusp of radical change.”
A Gentleman in Moscow immerses us in another elegantly drawn era with the story of Count Alexander Rostov. When, in 1922, he is deemed an unrepentant aristocrat by a Bolshevik tribunal, the count is sentenced to house arrest in the Metropol, a grand hotel across the street from the Kremlin. Rostov, an indomitable man of erudition and wit, has never worked a day in his life, and must now live in an attic room while some of the most tumultuous decades in Russian history are unfolding outside the hotel’s doors. Unexpectedly, his reduced circumstances provide him a doorway into a much larger world of emotional discovery.
Brimming with humor, a glittering cast of characters, and one beautifully rendered scene after another, this singular novel casts a spell as it relates the count’s endeavor to gain a deeper understanding of what it means to be a man of purpose.
A GENTLEMAN IN MOSCOW by Amor Towles. Viking (September 6, 2016). ISBN 978-0670026197. 480p.
Amor Towles was born and raised near Boston, Massachusetts. He graduated from Yale College and received an MA in English from Stanford University. For over twenty years he was an investment professional until he retired in 2013 in order to write full time. He lives with his wife and two children in Manhattan and serves on the boards of the Library of America, the Yale Art Gallery, and the Wallace Foundation.
Published in July 2011, his novel RULES OF CIVILITY has been translated into 15 languages. In America it was on the bestseller lists of the New York Times, Boston Globe, and Los Angeles Times. The book was ranked by the Wall Street Journal as one of the ten best works of fiction in 2011 and its French translation received the 2012 Prix Fitzgerald. His second novel, A GENTLEMAN IN MOSCOW, was published in September 2016.
Mr. Towles is an ardent fan of early 20th century painting, 1950’s jazz, 1970’s cop shows, rock & roll on vinyl, obsolete accessories, manifestoes, breakfast pastries, pasta, liquor, snow-days, Tuscany, Provence, Disneyland, Hollywood, the cast of Casablanca, 007, Captain Kirk, Bob Dylan (early, mid, and late phases), the wee hours, card games, cafés, and the cookies made by both of his grandmothers.