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First edition (publ. New Directions)
First edition (publ. New Directions)

Hard Candy: A Book of Stories is a collection of short stories by American writer Tennessee Williams, which was first published in 1954 by New Directions.

The nine stories are "Three Players of a Summer Game," "Two on a Party," "The Resemblance between a Violin Case and a Coffin," "Hard Candy", "Rubio y Morena," "The Mattress by the Tomato Patch," "The Coming of Something to the Widow Holly," "The Vine," and "The Mysteries of the Joy Rio."

In March 1954 Williams noted in a letter that he was "pulling together a short-long play based on the characters in "Three Players."[1] The play was Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.

The 1967 paperback edition, dedicated to Jane and Paul Bowles, notes that "Hard Candy" is a later version of "The Mysteries of the Joy Rio," yet both stories are included, despite employing the same theme and the same setting, because the accounts are so different.


  1. ^ Lahr, John. Tennessee Williams: Mad Pilgrimage of the Flesh. New York: W.W. Norton, 2014, p. 284. ISBN 978-0-393-02124-0