Hard Candy contains Tennessee Williams’s short stories written after the publication of his first collection of short fiction, One Arm, and before the stories appearing in The Knightly Quest. These volumes have established him as an original, compelling, and honest master of the short story. The stories in Hard Candy display Mr. Williams’s mastery of several very different s. “Three Players of a Summer Game,” for instance, is as powerful and moving a study of the disintegration of an individual as A Streetcar Named Desire. The delicate and luminous nostalgia of “The Resemblance Between a Violin Case and a Coffin” will remind readers of The Glass Menagerie. Other stories, like “Two on a Party,” are more colloquial and brittle; and one––”The Coming of Something to the Widow Holly”––is an excursion into ironical fantasy. Yet each of the stories demonstrates, in its different way, the characteristic blend of psychological penetration with compassion and understanding that has marked Tennessee Williams’s successes in the theater.