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Before Very Nobility

In the contemporary world, we think of politeness as surface behavior, like frosting - it's sweet and attractive and finishes off the cake. But 19th century nobility and the enlightened thinkers and stoics before them viewed manners in a very different way. To them, manners are an outward expression of an inward struggle.

- Amor Towles

Through Social Class

I prefer to put myself in an environment that's further afield and look through the eyes of someone who differs from me in age, ethnicity, gender, and/or social class. I think a little displacement makes me a sharper observer.

- Amor Towles

Want Nostalgia Admirable

Of course, you wouldn't want to re-create the era of aristocracy; it was a totally unfair era. The finer aspects of it were admirable, and so there's nostalgia for that: the behavior, the values, the cultural sensitivities.

- Amor Towles

Very Bay Area Boulevard

One restaurant I visit without fail, whenever I'm in the Bay Area, is the Boulevard at 1 Mission Street, a few strides from the waterfront. It has excellent food and wine very much in the modern California style, but I go there less for any one dish than for the pleasure of dining with the restaurant's chefs.

- Amor Towles

More About Tell

What can a first impression tell us about anyone? Why, no more than a chord can tell us about Beethoven, or a brushstroke about Botticelli.

- Amor Towles

Which Read Given

I had read Harold Bloom's 'Where Shall Wisdom Be Found?' Late in his life, having read everything, Bloom asked which books had given him wisdom. I had just read a bunch of contemporary novels that had no wisdom for me.

- Amor Towles

Feels Allowed Rooms

You can build a place that is beautiful, but nobody feels comfortable sitting in it, and the kids aren't allowed to go into many of the rooms. Or a place can look lived in, but it doesn't please the eye.

- Amor Towles

Been Fiction Kid

I've been writing fiction since I was a kid. From the age of 15 to 25, I probably wrote more than 50 short stories, one of which was published in 'The Paris Review' in 1989.

- Amor Towles

Which Art Been

My personal challenge as an artist has been having a day job which is intellectually satisfying and fun - and thus can easily supplant the desire to make art.

- Amor Towles

Hidden 1930s Civility

While I began writing 'Rules of Civility' in 2006, the genesis of the book dates back to the early 1990s, when I happened upon a copy of 'Many Are Called,' the collection of portraits that Walker Evans took on the New York City subways in the late 1930s with a hidden camera.

- Amor Towles

Having Woman Grandmother

My grandmother, who was simultaneously a woman of manners and verve, fended off marriage proposals until she was 30 because she was having too much fun to settle down.

- Amor Towles

Love Survive Russian

As awful as the crimes of Stalinism were, the vast majority of the Russian population was trying to survive, to love, to have a sense of purpose.

- Amor Towles

Purpose Hammered Elements

All the historical elements should feel organic to the story but not hammered down to serve a purpose.

- Amor Towles

Deserve Very Nature

By their very nature, human beings are so capricious, so complex, so delightfully contradictory, that they deserve not only our consideration but our reconsideration.

- Amor Towles

About Feet Instrument

Growing up, I didn't come from a musical family. Neither of my parents played an instrument, sang out loud, or listened to the radio with frequency. The record collection in the living room was only about 2 feet long - and that included 4 solid inches of Neil Diamond and Herb Alpert.

- Amor Towles

Came Revelation Boston

To a bookish boy in a Boston suburb in the mid-1970s, the lyrics of Cole Porter came as something of a revelation.

- Amor Towles

Imagined Dad Boston

Dad has worked as a banker at the same firm in Boston, living in the same suburban neighborhood for over 50 years. Later in life, when I got out of graduate school and imagined myself living the life of a writer like Hemingway or Kerouac, his practical self inevitably encouraged me to get a steady a job and raise a family, just like he did.

- Amor Towles

Always Thought Inside

I always thought I was a writer on the inside, but after a few years of not writing, you can't make that claim anymore.

- Amor Towles

Being Minutes 60 Minutes

I totally remember that: being 25 and unemployed and trying to stretch each cappuccino for 60 minutes.

- Amor Towles

Think Some I Think

I think that, every individual you invent in narrative work, you have to have some root in who that person is. That may be an aspect of yourself; it may be an aspect of something that you like, that you don't like. It may be an aspect that you wish you had. Maybe something you admire in another person.

- Amor Towles

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Would Minds Lincoln

Lincoln merely nominally freed the bodies of Negroes. But Debs would free the bodies and minds of Negroes.

- A. Philip Randolph

Would Wish Danger

Cyclists. I really hate them. I wish they would not be so self-righteous and realise they are a danger to pedestrians. I wish cyclists would not vindictively snap off wing mirrors on cars when they were trying to cross in front of the car at a danger to motorists and pedestrians.

- A. S. Byatt

Perfect Weeks Every Day

Keep writing. Try to do a little bit every day, even if the result looks like crap. Getting from page four to page five is more important than spending three weeks getting page four perfect.

- Alan Dean Foster

Been Weeks Awful Lot

There were periods when I sometimes made fires in a large, open fireplace that lasted about two weeks, which was how long it took to burn my compositions. So there has been an awful lot that I have destroyed.

- Alan Hovhaness

Away Weeks Go Away

I used to go away for weeks in a state of confusion.

- Albert Einstein

Think I Think Weeks

Within two weeks of working with her, I realized how good she was for the role because she was absolutely with it and she has got terrific instincts, I think, as an artist, too.

- Albert Finney

About Weeks Athletes

I've found that my athletes run their best races after about 10 weeks of intense training.

- Alberto Salazar

How Weeks Month

You know, I have a kid on my own, and I know how busy it is, the first weeks and the first month.

- Alessandra Ambrosio

Education Been Weeks

As the final weeks of my schooling draw to a close and exams loom, I find myself reflecting on the past six years of my secondary education only to realise that many questions are still unanswered. How have I been shaped by my learning experiences? What skills have I developed that are valuable and transferable in the workplace?

- Alexandra Adornetto

Would Choke Tories

The global economy is spluttering back into life. The Tories would have left it to choke to death.

- Alistair Darling

Would Literature Criticize

If people aren't creating literature, there would be nothing for people to criticize.

- Alistair MacLeod

Been Would Happen

If it had been what was supposed to happen, it would have happened.

- Allan Houston

Would Wish Along

Maybe women sometimes wish that a man would come along and buy them.

- Allison Anders

Love Would Explore

I would love to explore my options in Tamil as well as Malayalam.

- Allu Arjun

Would Weeks Cities

Every year, I would spend weeks at a time in the hotels of distant cities.

- Amor Towles

Think Thought Cities

When I was a little girl, I thought I was Sydney Carton in Dickens' 'A Tale of Two Cities.' I don't think anyone else did.

- Amy Bloom

Like Use Cities

In cities like Miami, my hair can get so frizzy, it looks crazy. I use TRESemm Extra Hold hairspray. I use a lot of it.

- Ana Ivanovic

Some Been Cities

Some people will talk about how Afghanistan has improved, but they're really just talking about the cities. In the countryside where the war has been fought, it's really not that much better than it was in 2001.

- Anand Gopal

Over Still Cities

There are many beautiful and resource-rich areas all over the Philippines that are still undeveloped or under-developed. These areas offer opportunities for better master-planning and the emergence of better communities as well as cities.

- Andrew Tan

Pretty Other Cities

Seeing what kinds of songs work in other cities and other parts of the world was pretty eye-opening. I know it changed how I approached the second record big-time.

- Andy Grammer

Like Might Cities

Cities might become biological entities, walls hung with curtains of algae that glow at night and sequester carbon, and floors made from tweaked cellular material that strengthens like bones as we walk on it.

- Annalee Newitz