Ayn Rand’s Fiction

Ayn Rand is one of America’s favorite authors—and one of its most thought-provoking.

Her first novel, We The Living (1936), is set in the country from which she escaped, Soviet Russia. Her last novel, Atlas Shrugged (1957), is set in the country in which she lived for the rest of her years and which she deeply loved, America. Between these she wrote two other novels, Anthem (1938), set in a future dystopia, and The Fountainhead (1943), her first American novel and her first bestseller.

Today more than 25 million copies of Ayn Rand’s novels have been sold. And in a virtually unprecedented phenomenon, novels that were published fifty (or more) years ago continue to sell almost a million copies annually. Ayn Rand’s enduring popularity is not hard to understand. Her fiction contains values unfound in our age: timeless and profound themes, expressed in logical, dramatic plots. Her heroes are unique: men and women like The Fountainhead’s Howard Roark and Atlas Shrugged’s Dagny Taggart, who are ambitious, purposeful, independent, strong, honest—and at once ruthlessly selfish and enormously life-giving, unwaveringly moral and eminently practical. Uplifting and unconventional, her stories portray a new, exalted vision of man and of life. Unsurprisingly, therefore, the ideas you encounter in Ayn Rand’s novels challenge some of today’s most deeply-held beliefs, which is why they continue to be discussed and debated on college campuses and in the editorial pages of newspapers around the country. Her philosophy “for living on earth,” which she formally named Objectivism, has changed the minds of tens of thousands of readers and launched a major school of thought with a growing impact on American culture. Explore these pages to learn more about Ayn Rand’s novels, plays and short stories, and then enjoy the sunlit universe of her fiction for yourself.