In 1958, Ayn Rand, already the world-famous author of such bestselling books as Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead, gave a private series of extemporaneous lectures in her own living room on the art of fiction. Tore Boeckmann and Leonard Peikoff for the first time now bring readers the edited transcript of these exciting personal statements. The Art of Fiction offers invaluable lessons, in which Rand analyzes the four essential elements of fiction: theme, plot, characterization, and style. She demonstrates her ideas by dissecting her best-known works, as well as those of other famous authors, such as Thomas Wolfe, Sinclair Lewis, and Victor Hugo. An historic accomplishment, this compendium will be a unique and fascinating resource for both writers and readers of fiction.