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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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Going Life My Life

This is not the first time in my life where you know going into a job that you're going to hear in stereo what was wrong with what you did.

- A. Bartlett Giamatti

Love My Life Night

Music is love, love is music, music is life, and I love my life. Thank you and good night.

- A. J. McLean

My Life Rest Stocking

I did not want to go out at 5:30 in the morning with my stocking cap and my navy pea coat on and shoot lines and grades for the rest of my life.

- A. James Clark

My Life Fought All My Life

All my life I have fought corruption.

- A. K. Antony

Like My Life Study

I've never had a study in my life. I'm like Jane Austen - I work on the corner of the dining table.

- A. N. Wilson

My Life Books Were

When I was a child - in wartime, pre-television - books were my life.

- A. S. Byatt

I Think My Life Organised

Being on the road, I think, is the most organised part of my life. You know where you have to be every day; you know what your job is every day. I crave that tiny bit of stability, which anyone else would think is the most unstable way of living, ever.

- Alison Mosshart

More Getting Mature

If I'm not getting older and more mature at 31, then something's wrong.

- Allen Iverson

Business Average Mature

So many people comment that I'm much more mature than average. In this business, you can get taken advantage of if you're not aware and you're not tough.

- Amanda Bynes

My Life Career Mature

I had a 20-year career. I have two children. The advantage of writing later in my life is that I already had a whole mature realm of accomplishments and responsibilities, an identity outside of being a writer.

- Amor Towles

See Mature Differently

When you mature, you also get more secure about yourself. You see things differently.

- Ana Ivanovic

Like Mature Know Yourself

Why are people afraid of getting older? You feel wiser. You feel more mature. You feel like you know yourself better. You would trade that for softer skin? Not me!

- Anna Kournikova

Mature Brother And Sister

My parents called me their wise little baby. I was mature when I was 4 or 5. My brother and sister were older, so I was raised by four adults.

- Annabeth Gish

Pretty Mature Bound

If somebody ever says something is a mature theme, it's bound to not be. I mean, you shouldn't fall for that. You can make it sound mature, but anything that's about being mature is pretty immature.

- Ariel Pink

Which Career Go

I'm patient when it comes to my career, which is unlike me, but there are no stars in my eyes. I make where I go. It's that sort of thing.

- Paul Eenhoorn

Always Doing Career

My career has always revolved around what I do and don't want my sisters and brothers seeing me doing.

- Melissa Joan Hart

I Think Been Career

I think there has only been one time in my entire career that I've ever gone back to shoot a scene. And it was a scene that, when we were shooting it, we knew that it wasn't working. We knew there was a disagreement between the actor and director. So, we went back.

- Melissa Leo

Career Tries Iowa

There must be an alternative between Hollywood and New York, between those two places psychically as well as geographically. The University of Iowa tries to offer such a community, congenial to the young writer, with his uneasiness about writing as an honorable career, or with his excess of ego about calling himself a writer.

- Paul Engle

Some Through Career

I have amazing kids, an amazing husband, a fabulous career, wonderful parents. If I had to go through some rough spots to get to this amazing place, so be it.

- Melissa Marr

Going Other Career

You get nervous when you're identified with something that is really great and positive for so long. You don't want to not be that person, but there are going to be other roles in your career.

- Melissa Peterman

Lucky Career Gotten

I was so lucky and blessed to have gotten 'White Chicks' so early into my career.

- Rochelle Aytes