Mickey Spillane (1918–2006) was a detective novelist and friend. In his early works, he was a favorite author of AR. She wrote that he “gives me the feeling of hearing a military band in a public park” (The Romantic Manifesto, p. 43). For Spillane remembrances of AR, see his interview in 100 Voices: An Oral History of Ayn Rand (New York: Penguin, 2010), pp. 232–39.
36 East 36th St.
New York 16, N.Y.
October 2, 1961
Thank you for your letter. I was delighted to hear from you—and if I am so late in answering, it is because New American Library did not forward your letter to me until recently. Please take note of my home address above. (An easy way to remember it would be: “the perfect 36.”)
I wish I could have brought you in with me that night, after our meeting, because you might have been pleasantly shocked, as I was when I entered my apartment, six young people (my students and close friends) were there, with my husband, waiting for me—and had been waiting for several hours—to hear what Mickey Spillane is like in person. The news that I was going to meet you had spread through our own grapevine—and there they were. All of them are enthusiastic admirers of yours—all of them (including me) had been disappointed too often, when meeting famous people—and so it was an enormous pleasure for all of us that I could give them a report on you (on any publicly reportable issues) which, for once, confirmed and raised, rather than lowered, our enthusiasm. You are the only modern writer with whom I can and do share the loyalty of my best readers—and I am proud of this.
Thank you for your compliments about the movie of The Fountainhead. I am glad you saw it. But I hope that you will read the book itself. It says much more than a movie can cover.
I am waiting eagerly to see you again. As you say, “Time ran out on us the other evening.” But is there any reason why time should run us, rather than the other way around? I hope that you can arrange to be in New York a little longer on your next trip, so that we can continue our discussion.
Miss Tower’s office tells me that you and I will appear together on the Mike Wallace show on October 11th. I am certainly looking forward to that! If it’s drama they want, they’ll get it.
Now I wonder whether it would be possible for you to come to New York a couple of days earlier. On Monday evening, October 9th, my friend (and your fan) Nathaniel Branden will open the fall series of his lectures on “Basic Principles of Objectivism” (which I mentioned to you), at the Hotel Roosevelt, at 7:30 P.M. I would be delighted if you and your wife could have dinner with us that evening and attend the lectures as our guests.
I enclose a brochure that will acquaint you with the general nature of the lectures.
After the lecture, there will be a small gathering at the home of the Brandens, which we hope you will be able to attend.
Drop me a note and let me know, or telephone me at Murray Hill 5-4843. (I will be away, addressing a businessman’s seminar the first of this week, but will be back in N.Y. on Wednesday, Oct. 4th)
Please give my regards to your wife and my thanks for her interest in my books. I am looking forward to meeting her and to seeing you again.