This is from an interview Rand gave to Playboy in the early ’60s. A small digression before I link to the same.
In one of the appendices to his book that I wrote about a couple of day back, entitled “My Competition,” Friedman lists many authors. Rand finds a mention a couple of times. This, a recommendation for her two major novels, is one of the better comments-
Rand’s novels upset some people because her heroes are all handsome and the villains nauseating, with names to match. She did it on purpose; she did not believe art should be realistic and wrote The Romantic Manifesto to prove it. When someone told her that her work was not in the mainstream of American literature, she is supposed to have replied that “the mainstream of American literature is a stagnant swamp.” She has a point.