Ayn Rand is more than a writer to many — she’s the political figurehead of Fountainhead fame. Rand, whose Atlas Shrugged (with it’s famous line: Who is John Galt?) and The Fountainhead continue to find and influence readers, is an icon and progenitor of a durable strain of American libertarianism. But it wasn’t always so.
Rand was once just a struggling immigrant writer trying to find her way through typically dramatic storylines — stories with little overt political intent. That path found the young Rand in Hollywood, working on screenplays around the time (1934) when Shirley Temple ruled the town. While there, Rand wrote a novel which she later turned into a play. The novel wasn’t published and the play got panned. Today that first fact changes: Ideal, a novel by Ayn Rand, is being published. It concerns a movie actress named Kay Gonda, who’s on the run after being accused of murder.