"a magnificent epistolary
style...raucous and voyeuristic"

Publishers Weekly


In the early fall of 1958 there appeared in Paris, in the familiar dull-green cover of the already notorious Olympia Press, a novel entitled Candy, a Rabelasian satire loosely based on Voltaire's Candide by one Maxwell Kenton, pseudonym of its coauthors Terry Southern and Mason Hoffenberg. Following a modest first printing, the book drew the attention of the French censors, was banned, reissued by Olympia's intrepid publisher Maurice Girodias under the title Lollipop, rebanned, then again reissued. Within years it became one of the most talked-about novels of the tumultuous 1960s, selling in the millions of copies in America alone, its success prompting Hollywood to turn it into a move.

The rollicking, hilarious, and sometimes tragic story of Candy's public career is recounted here in full detail by Nile Southern, son of Terry Southern. From the book's humble beginnings in Paris in the late 1950s through an agonizing three-year gestation (often on paper napkins, lost, stolen, or destroyed) and the authors' wily, often self-destructive business dealings with their equally wily French publisher, to its chaotic and controversial publication in the United States, The Candy Men follows with unblinking scrutiny Candy's underground then mainstream success, the legal shenanigans surrounding it, the blatant piracy that plagued it almost from the start, and the star-studded cast with whose help it was made into one of the worst motion-pictures of all time.


The touchstone of Nile Southern's compilation lies half-hidden in the deliciously disgusting correspondence between its disreputable heros, who come shifting off the page in hipster mode just as, years ago, they leaned out of the shadows of the Dome in Montparnasse.

"Old poops, puritans, the politically correct, and our fun-loving Attorney General may choke on indignation and outraged sensibilities, but the rest of us must laugh along with these anarchic voices. Such wild metaphors and riffs of fervid imagination, daring to celebrate our frailties and folly, are the stuff of literature and life." — Peter Mathiessen



from Arcade Publishers:


Four decades after the novel Candy zoomed to the top of the national best-seller lists, was censored and pirated to death, it relives in this rollicking account of its origins and history, recounted by Nile Southern — Terry Southern’s son.
Once upon a time, in the 1950s, there was a writer named Terry Southern—who after meeting fellow expatriate in Paris, Mason Hoffenberg—decided to write a book called Candy, a satire based on Voltaire’s Candide, for legendary rogue publisher Maurice Girodias. The rest is history…

The Candy Men springs from Nile Southern’s discover in 1995 of a cache of letters between his father, Terry Southern, Mason Hoffenberg, and Maurice Girodias. The letters are hilarious, and in addition to following the origin and evolution of the famous sexpot, Candy, they also provide an intimate look at the post-war life of writers in their own words. Secret histories of 1950s Paris and Greenwich Village are revealed along the way.

The Candy Men explores why the “dirty book” Candy was such a cultural hit and tracks the changing sexual attitudes of the day, particularly for women. The book depicts literary censorship at home and abroad, and shows how it was finally overcome with the American judiciary’s legalization of erotic literature. It also offers underground histories of Lolita, Naked Lunch, and The Ginger Man, among others. The Candy Men is not only the rollicking history of a novel, it is a portrait of one of the most exciting literary and cultural decades of our time.

408 pages wi/ 16 pages of B/W photographs. ISBN: 1-55970-604-X. PUB DATE: May 7, 2004.

Enjoy the first chapter of
The CANDY Men !

ordering ...


Letter from publisher Maurice Girodias, 1957 featured in
The CANDY Men:

* * *
read the rest here...


the most pirated book ever!

see a pirate's published treasure chest here!