Born and raised in the Boston area, Amor Towles graduated from Yale College and received an MA in English from Stanford University. His first novel, Rules of Civility, published in 2011, was a New York Times bestseller and was named by The Wall Street Journal as one of the best books of 2011. His second novel, A Gentleman in Moscow, published in 2016, was also a New York Times bestseller and was named as one of the best books of 2016 by the Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, The Philadelphia Inquirer, the San Francisco Chronicle, and NPR. Both novels have been translated into over fifteen languages. Having worked as an investment professional for over twenty years, Mr. Towles now devotes himself full time to writing in Manhattan, where he lives with his wife and two children.
"The novel buzzes with the energy of numerous adventures, love affairs, twists of fate and silly antics."
--The Wall Street Journal
"A winning, stylish novel."
"The perfect book to curl up with while the world goes by outside your window."
"Who will save Rostov from the intrusions of state if not the seamstresses, chefs, bartenders and doormen? In the end, Towles's greatest narrative effect is not the moments of wonder and synchronicity but the generous transformation of these peripheral workers, over the course of decades, into confidants, equals and, finally, friends. With them around, a life sentence in these gilded halls might make Rostov the luckiest man in Russia."
--The New York Times Book Review
"This is an old fashioned sort of romance, filled with delicious detail. Save this precious book for times you really, really want to escape reality."
"Towles gets good mileage from the considerable charm of his protagonist and the peculiar world he inhabits."
--The New Yorker
"Irresistible . . . In his second elegant period piece, Towles continues to explore the question of how a person can lead an authentic life in a time when mere survival is a feat in itself . . . Towles's tale, as lavishly filigreed as a Faberg egg, gleams with nostalgia for the golden age of Tolstoy and Turgenev."
--O, The Oprah Magazine
"'The Grand Budapest Hotel' and 'Eloise' meets all the Bond villains."
"The same gorgeous, layered richness that marked Towles' debut, Rules of Civility, shapes [A Gentleman in Moscow]."
"This novel is astonishing, uplifting, and wise. Don't miss it."
--Chris Cleave, author of Little Bee
"The book moves briskly from one crisp scene to the next, and ultimately casts a spell as encompassing as Rules of Civility, a book that inhales you into its seductively Gatsby-esque universe."
--Town & Country
"In all ways a great novel, a nonstop pleasure brimming with charm, personal wisdom, and philosophic insight . . .This is a book in which the cruelties of the age can't begin to erase the glories of real human connection and the memories it leaves behind. A masterly encapsulation of modern Russian history, this book more than fulfills the promise of Towles' stylish debut, Rules of Civility."
--Kirkus Reviews (starred)
"In his remarkable first novel, the bestselling Rules of Civility, Towles etched 1930s New York in crystalline relief . . . His latest polished literary foray into a bygone era is just as impressive . . . an imaginative and unforgettable historical portrait."
"House arrest has never been so charming as in Towles's second novel, an engaging 30-year saga set almost entirely inside the Metropol, Moscow's most luxurious hotel. . .empathetic, and entertaining."
Praise for Rules of Civility
"An irresistible and astonishingly assured debut about working class-women and world-weary WASPs in 1930s New York...in the crisp, noirish prose of the era, Towles portrays complex relationships in a city that is at once melting pot and elitist enclave - and a thoroughly modern heroine who fearlessly claims her place in it."
--O, the Oprah Magazine
"With this snappy period piece, Towles resurrects the cinematic black-and-white Manhattan of the golden age...[his] characters are youthful Americans in tricky times, trying to create authentic lives."
--The New York Times Book Review
"This very good first novel about striving and surviving in Depression-era Manhattan deserves attention...The great strength of Rules of Civility is in the sharp, sure-handed evocation of Manhattan in the late '30s."
--Wall Street Journal
"Put on some Billie Holiday, pour a dry martini and immerse yourself in the eventful life of Katey Kontent...[Towles] clearly knows the privileged world he's writing about, as well as the vivid, sometimes reckless characters who inhabit it."
"[A] wonderful debut novel...Towles [plays] with some of the great themes of love and class, luck and fated encounters that animated Wharton's novels."
--The Chicago Tribune
"Glittering...filled with snappy dialogue, sharp observations and an array of terrifically drawn characters...Towles writes with grace and verve about the mores and manners of a society on the cusp of radical change."
"Glamorous Gotham in one to relish...a book that enchants on first reading and only improves on the second."
--The Philadelphia Inquirer