Rag Radio: Michael Hoinski & Ben Sargent on the Discovery & Publishing of O. Henry’s Lost Manuscript

'As Others See Us' is a dark tale about an alcoholic's descent into madness.

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Thorne Dreyer’s guests are writer Michael Hoinski and Pulitzer Prize-winning political cartoonist Ben Sargent on the discovery and fine press printing of O. Henry’s lost manuscript, As Others See Us, a dark tale about an alcoholic’s descent into madness.

Hoinski and Sargent discuss O. Henry’s life, including his early years in Texas — as a newspaper reporter for the Houston Post and in an extended stay in Austin where his stint as a bank clerk led to a conviction for embezzlement. They also recount the fascinating story of how the manuscript was purchased, authenticated, designed, illustrated by Sargent, and printed on a letterpress printer with hand-stitched binding.

Michael Hoinski is the curator of the O. Henry Museum, the historical home of the short story writer, located in Austin, Texas. Michael edited and wrote the afterward for As Others See Us, a “lost” O. Henry manuscript made into a fine press, limited edition book. Michael premiered the book at the 20th annual Texas Book Festival, where he was a guest speaker. Michael is also a freelance journalist who has written for a number of publications including The New York Times and Texas Monthly.

Ben Sargent, who illustrated As Others See Us, is a Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist whose editorial cartoons appeared in the Austin American-Statesman from 1974-2014 and were distributed nationally by Universal Press Syndicate. Sargent is staff cartoonist at the Texas Observer and his “Loon Star State” has run there since 2009. Ben, who won the 1982 Pulitzer Prize for editorial cartooning and was a finalist in 2001 and 2002, is also an active letterpress printer, and was involved in the printing of As Others See Us. His shop includes a 1905 Chandler & Price job press and more than 230 fonts of handset type.

Rag Radio is produced in the studios of KOOP 91.7-FM, an all-volunteer, cooperatively-run community radio station in Austin, Texas, in association with The Rag Blog and the New Journalism Project, a Texas 501(c)(3) nonprofit. The host and producer of Rag Radio, Thorne Dreyer, is a prominent Austin-based activist and writer who was a pioneer of the ’60s underground press movement. The show’s engineer and co-producer is Tracey Schulz and the staff photographer is Roger Baker. The syndicated show is broadcast (and streamed) live Fridays, 2-3 p.m. (Central) on KOOP in Austin, and is later rebroadcast and streamed on WFTE-FM in Mt. Cobb and Scranton, PA., on Houston Pacifica’s KPFT HD-3 90.1-FM, and by KKRN, 88.5-FM in Round Mountain, CA — and is a featured podcast at VT. All Rag Radio podcasts can be found at the Internet Archive. Contact: [email protected]

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