Originally broadcast at 3:30 p.m. EDT Thursday, July 19, 2018.
A transporting novel about a man who is ordered to spend the rest of his life inside a luxury hotel, A Gentleman in Moscow immerses us in an elegantly drawn era with the story of Count Alexander Rostov.
When, in 1922, Rostov 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 Count Rostov’s endeavor to gain a deeper understanding of what it means to be a man of purpose.
Amor Towles’ A Gentleman in Moscow, his second novel, was named one of the best books of 2016 by the Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The San Francisco Chronicle, and NPR. Towles is also the author of Rules of Civility. A graduate of Yale College, Towles received a masters in English from Stanford University. His thesis at Stanford, a short story cycle called “The Temptations of Pleasure,” was published in Paris Review 112.
About Chautauqua Institution: Chautauqua Institution is a community on the shores of Chautauqua Lake in southwestern New York state that comes alive each summer with a unique mix of fine and performing arts, lectures, interfaith worship and programs, and recreational activities. As a community, we celebrate, encourage and study the arts and treat them as integral to all of learning, and we convene the critical conversations of the day to advance understanding through civil dialogue. CHQ Assembly is the online expression of Chautauqua Institution's mission.