New York Times best-selling author Amor Towles – described as a master of absorbing, sophisticated fiction – appears April 25 at the Helena Civic Center, in conversation with Montana’s Russell Rowland. His visit is made possible by a gift from the estate of longtime Helena librarian Christian Frazza, and presented by the Lewis & Clark Library and the Lewis & Clark Library Foundation.
Towles was born and raised in the Boston area, graduated from Yale College and received an MA in English from Stanford University. Prior to becoming an award-winning author, he worked as an investment professional for over 20 years. His books Rules of Civility, A Gentleman in Moscow, and his current title, The Lincoln Highway, will be the centerpiece of the evening of readings and discussion.
His third novel, Kirkus writes in a starred review, “is even more entertaining than his much-acclaimed A Gentleman in Moscow … A remarkable blend of sweetness and doom, [The Lincoln Highway] is packed with revelations about the American myth, the art of storytelling, and the unrelenting pull of history. An exhilarating ride through Americana.”
In addition to his novels, Towles has published short stories in the Paris Review, Granta, British Vogue, and Audible Originals. He wrote the introduction to Scribner’s 75th anniversary edition of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Tender is the Night and the Penguin Classics edition of Ernest Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises. “As for Clothing,” Towles’ essay on Walden, appears in the anthology Now Comes Good Sailing: Writers Reflect on Henry David Thoreau.
Critically-acclaimed Montana author Russell Rowland will serve as moderator for the evening. Rowland is the author of six books, hosts a literary podcast and mentors fledgling writers.
A fourth-generation Montanan, Rowland inherited the experiential legacies of his father’s blue-collar Wyoming roots and mother’s ranching history, dating back more than a century. He earned an MA in Creative Writing from Boston University. Rowland co-hosts the monthly podcast series “Breakfast in Montana,” and hosts “Fifty-Six Counties,” a radio program on Yellowstone Public Radio where he converses with Montanans and explores the ways in which this state and its people shape one another.
Christian Frazza, who died in 2020, was director of the Carroll College Corette Library and a longtime Lewis & Clark Library supporter. “Christian loved words and language,” library director John Finn says. “Helena’s library community misses him and we are grateful for the opportunity to remember him.”
The conversation and reading take place at 7 p.m. Monday, April 25, at the Helena Civic Center; admission is free. The Montana Book Company will sell books at the event and a book signing follows the reading and discussion.