SAL/on air is a literary podcast featuring the best author talks from over thirty years of Seattle Arts & Lectures’ programming.
In A Gentleman in Moscow, the subject of Amor Towles’ 2019 SAL lecture, the ever-charming Count Rostov says, “By their very nature, human beings are so capricious, so complex, so delightfully contradictory, that they deserve not only our consideration, but our reconsideration—and our unwavering determination to withhold our opinion until we have engaged with them in every possible setting at every possible hour.”
It takes an extraordinary writer to create a thirty-year history of a Count trapped inside a hotel in Moscow and make every page feel propulsive. But that’s exactly the plot of Amor Towles’ A Gentleman in Moscow—and that’s exactly the kind of writer Towles is.
Amor Towles writes books worth considering and reconsidering, that delight in every possible setting, at every possible hour. Whether he is exploring Russian history or a 1950s road trip, Towles creates rich and nuanced worlds filled with both daily joys and fascinating characters. Join us for this episode of SAL/on air, which takes us through the research process of A Gentleman in Moscow, which spent over a year on the New York Times bestseller list.
Air Date: May 9, 2023
Audio from lecture: Amor Towles
Recorded November 12, 2019
at Benaroya Hall — S. Mark Taper Foundation Auditorium