By Seija Rankin
February 17, 2021 at 12:00 PM EST
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Credit: Courtesy Amor Towles; Penguin Random House

This fall, Amor Towles is going from Russia to... Nebraska. The acclaimed author — who worked in investing for more than 20 years before pivoting to full-time writing — solidified his position as a household name after the 2016 publication of A Gentleman in Moscow, which followed an aristocrat who is placed on house arrest in a Moscow hotel. EW is exclusively announcing his highly anticipated third novel, and we can promise it's not what you'd expect.

The Lincoln Highway, set to hit shelves Oct. 5, centers on a young man on his way home from a work farm where he's just completed a one-year sentence for manslaughter. His original plans of reuniting with his younger brother to drive west and build a new life are thwarted when he discovers that two of his friends from the farm have stowed away in his car.

"As a novelist, I like to mix it up," Towles says in a statement. "So, while Rules of Civility describes a year in the life of a 25-year-old woman who's about to climb the socio-economic ladder of New York, A Gentleman in Moscow spans three decades with a Russian aristocrat who's lost everything. My new novel, The Lincoln Highway, is about three 18-year-old boys and an 8-year-old boy on a journey from Nebraska to New York City in 1954 — the whole story lasting just 10 days."

Towles is still riding high from his last novel — Moscow spent 104 weeks on the New York Times best-seller list and has sold 2.4 million copies to date. His debut, Rules of Civility, is also a Times best-seller, and together the books have been translated into more than 30 languages. Both works offered readers a highly developed sense of place (late 1930s Manhattan and Bolshevik Russia), and the author hopes to draw his fans to this new work with yet another immersive experience.

"While I think The Lincoln Highway will offer readers many of the same satisfactions of my first two novels, I hope it will provide them not simply a new set of characters, settings, and themes, but a very different reading experience," says Towles.

Preorders of the book are available now; stay tuned to EW for more info as release date approaches.

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