In 1995, Nile Southern, son of novelist Terry Southern, uncovered a hidden archive of letters representing correspondence between his father, publisher Maurice Girodias, and rebel poet Mason Hoffenberg. These exchanges provided insights about the origin and development of the now legendary Candy, the novel that brought the elder Southern to literary prominence. These communiques also illuminated the post-war lives of this creative threesome as well as revealing life in 1950s Paris and Greenwich Village.
Here, Nile takes these letters and reconstructs the writing of Candy, how this "dirty book" became such a cultural bestseller, and sheds light on literary censorship and how that was ultimately abolished with so-called "erotic" literature was finally legalized.
For those intrigued by the historical lives and patterns of behavior of authors like Southern, J.P. Donleavy (the Irish writer responsible for The Ginger Man, a novel greatly influencing the later work of Hunter S. Thompson), William Burroughs, and the like, this is a terrific journal. A real inside look at some of our most infamous scribes and the fertile time that will never come again.
If you've read Candy, you must read this.