Amor Towles

Bill Hayes

Amor Towles

Tuesday, November 12, 2019 7:30 pm

At Benaroya Hall — S. Mark Taper Foundation Auditorium

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Literary Arts

Amor Towles is the author of A Gentleman in Moscow, “a masterly encapsulation of modern Russian history” that tells the story of a count who is ordered to spend the rest of his life inside a luxury hotel (Kirkus Reviews). Towles is often compared to F. Scott Fitzgerald for his focus on high society and is celebrated by his readers for the elegance of his language and storytelling.

A Gentleman in Moscow spent 58 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list and was named one of the best books of the year by the Chicago Tribune, the Washington Post, and NPR. The book, which was described as “a salve” for the disorder of our current world by novelist Ann Patchett, was also a finalist for the Kirkus Prize. The novel is currently being made into a television mini-series starring Kenneth Branagh.

Born outside of Boston to a middle-class working family, Towles studied at Yale University before receiving his MA in English from Stanford. After college, he moved to New York City, where he decided to put away his passion for writing and join a friend in an investment banking firm. For the next two decades, Towles worked in finance but never fully abandoned his original love for writing.

Towles sat down to write the 26 chapters of his first novel, Rules of Civility, in just 52 weeks. He allotted one week to write and one week to edit each chapter. After completing the first draft, Towles spent the next two consecutive years revising and simplifying his language. His regimented schedule paid off: in 2011, Rules of Civility hit the New York Times bestseller list and was named one of the best books of the year by The Atlantic, the Wall Street Journal, and Oprah Magazine.

After the success of Rules of Civility, Towles retired from his work in finance to focus on writing full time. He drew inspiration for A Gentleman in Moscow, in part, from a childhood pen-pal he chanced into when he threw a message in a bottle into the Atlantic Ocean. Intended for China, the message instead found Harrison Salisbury, a post World War II Moscow correspondent for the New York Times. Salisbury would later work as the managing editor for the paper and is credited with establishing the Opinion Section.

Event Details

Benaroya Hall — S. Mark Taper Foundation Auditorium

200 University Street
Seattle, WA 98101

View directions.

Transportation & Parking

This event will be held in the S. Mark Taper Foundation Auditorium, the largest event space at Benaroya Hall. 

Benaroya Hall is located at 200 University Street, directly across Second Avenue from the Seattle Art Museum. The public entrance to Benaroya Hall is along Third Avenue.

  • From Southbound I-5
    Take the Union Street exit (#165B). Continue onto Union Street and proceed approximately five blocks to Second Avenue. Turn left onto Second Avenue. The Benaroya Hall parking garage will be on your immediate left. The garage entrance is on Second Avenue, just south of Union Street.
  • From Northbound I-5
    Exit left onto Seneca Street (exit #165). Proceed two blocks and turn right onto Fourth Avenue. Continue two blocks. Turn left onto Union Street. Continue two blocks. Turn left onto Second Avenue. The Benaroya Hall parking garage will be on your immediate left. The garage entrance is on Second Avenue, just south of Union Street.
  • From Northbound Highway 99 (Aurora Avenue)
    Take the Seneca Street exit and move into the left lane. Turn left onto First Avenue and proceed one block. Take the next right (at the Hammering Man sculpture) onto University Street. Continue up the hill two blocks to Third Avenue. Turn left onto Third Avenue. Continue to the next block and turn left onto Union Street. Make the next left onto Second Avenue. The Benaroya Hall parking garage will be on your immediate left. The garage entrance is on Second Avenue, just south of Union Street.
  • From Southbound Highway 99 (Aurora Avenue)
    Take the Denny Way/Downtown exit. Keep right and cross over Denny Way onto Wall Street. Proceed approximately five blocks and turn left onto Second Avenue. Continue south on Second Avenue approximately eight blocks. The Benaroya Hall parking garage will be on your left. The garage entrance is on Second Avenue, just south of Union Street.

By Bus
Benaroya Hall is served by numerous bus routes. Digital reader boards along Third Avenue display real-time bus arrival information. For details and trip planning tools, call Metro Rider Information at 206.553.3000 (voice) or 206.684.1739 (TDD), or visit Metro online. The Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel, served by bus and light rail, has a stop just below the Hall (University Street Station).

Parking
The 430-car underground garage at Benaroya Hall provides direct access from the enclosed parking area into the Hall via elevators leading to The Boeing Company Gallery. Enter the garage on Second Avenue, just south of Union Street. Maximum vehicle height is 6’8″. Blink charging stations are available for electric vehicles. The event rate is $16.

Parking is also available at:

  • The Cobb Building (enter on University Street between Third and Fourth avenues).
  • The Russell Investments Center (enter on Union Street between First and Second avenues).
  • There are many other garages within a one-block radius of Benaroya Hall, along with numerous on-street parking options.

Accessibility

SAL is for everyone. We want all audience members to be able to experience our lectures and readings regardless of accessibility concerns. Accessibility services at our venues are provided at no cost to ticket holders. If you find you need to sit closer to the stage to accommodate your needs but find the cost of a Patron ticket prohibitive, then please contact us—we will seat you where you need to be, regardless of cost.

Open Captioning occurs at every event that takes place at Benaroya Hall. It is also always available upon request for all events in our other halls, with a two-week minimum notice. To make a request for Open Captioning services, please contact us at boxoffice@lectures.org or 206.621.2230×10.

Assisted Listening Devices, including Hearing Loop Assisted Listening Systems, are available at all of our venues, with the exception of Broadway Performance Hall. If you would like more information, please contact us at boxoffice@lectures.org or 206.621.2230×10.

ASL-Interpretated Events are always available upon request, with a two-week minimum notice. To make a request for ASL interpretation, please contact us at boxoffice@lectures.org or 206.621.2230×10.

Wheelchair Accessible Ticketing is available in all sections at our venues, and and our venues are fully accessible to ticket holders with physical mobility concerns. If you would like more information, please contact us at boxoffice@lectures.org or 206.621.2230×10.

For any further questions or requests, or to offer Seattle Arts & Lectures feedback on how we can be more accessible and inclusive, please reach out to our Patron Services Manager at boxoffice@lectures.org or 206.621.2230×10.

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