Amor Towles (born 1964) is an American novelist. He is best known for his bestselling novels Rules of Civility (2011) and A Gentleman in Moscow (2016), the latter of which made him a finalist for the 2016 Kirkus Prize.
Towles was born and raised in Boston, Massachusetts. He graduated from Yale College and received an M.A. in English from Stanford University, where he was a Scowcroft Fellow. When Towles was 10 years old, he threw a bottle with a message inside into the Atlantic Ocean. Several weeks later, he received a letter from Harrison Salisbury, who was then the managing editor of The New York Times. Towles and Salisbury corresponded for many years afterward.
After graduating from Yale University. Towles was set to teach in China on a two-year fellowship from the Yale China Association. However, this was abruptly canceled due to the Tiananmen Square crackdown in 1989.
From 1991-2012, he worked as an investment banker and director of research at Select Equity Group in New York.
When Towles was a younger man, he credits renowned nature writer, novelist and one of the founders of The Paris Review, Peter Matthiessen, as the primary inspiration for writing novels. Towles' first book Rules of Civility was successful beyond his expectations; so much so that the proceeds from the book afforded him the luxury of retirement from investment banking so that he could pursue writing full time.
Towles resides in Gramercy Park, Manhattan, New York City, with his wife, Maggie, their son, Stokley, and their daughter, Esmé. Towles is a collector of fine-art and antiques.