To Barbara Brandt, editor of Popular Publications. Inc. [Letter 188]

Item Reference Code: 145_P2x_012_001

Date(s) of creation

December 11, 1945


Barbara Brandt


10,000 Tampa Avenue
Chatsworth, California

December 11, 1945

Miss Barbara Brandt
Popular Publications, Inc.
205 East 42nd Street
New York, N. Y.

Dear Miss Brandt:

Complying with your request, in your letter of November 2nd, to name my favorite short story, I have been thinking it over and I find it hard to answer—because I read very few short stories and would hesitate to name any one as “The Best I’ve Read.”

However, the very best I’ve ever read, my favorite thing in all world literature (and that includes all the heavy classics) is a novelette called “Calumet K” by Merwin-Webster. It was first published in the Saturday Evening Post in 1901—and I think it is still available in a booklet published by Macmillan in 1923.[*]

Would that fit your purpose? You might consider running it, perhaps, in two installments. If you are planning a reprint magazine, I do not believe that you will find a better story anywhere. And if you wish to use it under my recommendation, I am certain that it will appeal to all the readers of “The Fountainhead.” It’s that kind of thing.

If you decide to use it, let me know and I will be glad to write a short preface for it—without charge, of course.

Sincerely yours,


Ayn Rand


*Now in the public domain, the novel is available from a variety of publishers. The edition with AR’s introduction is available only from used book dealers.