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NPR: Fresh Air Podcast by Terry Gross

NPR: Fresh Air Podcast

by Terry Gross

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Fresh Air from WHYY, the Peabody Award-winning weekday magazine of contemporary arts and issues, is one of public radio's most popular programs. Hosted by Terry Gross, the show features intimate conversations with today's biggest luminaries.


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  • Inside America's First Family
    Thu, Jun 21, 2018


    'Vanity Fair' journalist Emily Jane Fox focused on Trump's three marriages and five children when writing her new book, 'Born Trump.' "His presence is overwhelming," she says of the president's role in the family. Also, book critic Maureen Corrigan reviews two books that celebrate road trips, 'Don't Make Me Pull Over!' and 'Main-Travelled Roads.'

  • Novelist Stephen McCauley
    Wed, Jun 20, 2018


    McCauley's latest book, 'My Ex-Life,' is a comedy about a couple whose marriage ended years ago when the husband came out as gay, but then they become friends. "All relationships evolve — even for people who stay together," he says. Also, John Powers reviews two novels about unconventional women, 'Mirror, Shoulder, Signal,' and 'Convenience Store Woman.'

  • 'War, Sabotage, and Fear in the Cyber Age'
    Tue, Jun 19, 2018


    'New York Times' national security correspondent David Sanger says U.S. officials worry that foreign powers have planted malware that could take down critical infrastructure, including the electric power grid and cell phone systems. Sanger's new book is 'The Perfect Weapon.' Also, rock critic Ken Tucker reviews the new Father John Misty record, 'God's Favorite Customer.'

  • John Prine
    Mon, Jun 18, 2018


    The singer, songwriter and guitarist underwent surgeries in 1996 and 2013 that affected his throat and voice. Now, he says, he likes his voice better: "It dropped down lower and feels friendlier." His new album, 'The Tree of Forgiveness,' is his first in 13 years. Also, book critic Maureen Corrigan reviews 'There There,' a debut novel from Tommy Orange.

  • Best Of: Ethan Hawke & Paul Schrader / Michael Chabon
    Fri, Jun 15, 2018


    Schrader wrote and directed the new film 'First Reformed,' which stars Hawke as a pastor having a crisis of faith. Schrader also wrote 'Taxi Driver' and 'Raging Bull. He considers his new film to be his first spiritual film. Also, critic Justin Chang reviews the new Pixar movie 'Incredibles 2.' Pulitzer Prize-winning author Michael Chabon writes about his relationship with his father, as well as his own experiences as the parent of four, in 'Pops: Fatherhood in Pieces.'

  • 'Quest' Follows A North Philly Family For 8 Years
    Fri, Jun 15, 2018


    Filmmaker Jonathan Olshefski spent nearly 10 years filming Christopher Rainey and his family, who run a recording studio in a working-class African-American neighborhood of North Philadelphia. During the course of the film we see the Raineys get married, raise their daughter, and try to recover from a traumatic turn of events when she is hit by a stray bullet. Olshefski and Christopher "Quest" Rainey talk about the film. Also we remember war photographer David Douglas Duncan and Elvis Presley's drummer D.J. Fontana.

  • Remembering Feminist Scholar Jill Ker Conway
    Thu, Jun 14, 2018


    Conway, a women's history scholar and the first female president of Smith College, died June 1. She grew up on a remote Australian sheep farm and later went on to write three memoirs. She fought for women's equality in education and in the workplace, and insisted on equality in her marriage. Also, Ken Tucker reviews the album 'Lush' by Snail Mail, and Justin Chang reviews 'Incredibles 2.'

  • 'Black Athletes, A Divided America, And The Politics Of Patriotism'
    Wed, Jun 13, 2018


    As some athletes kneel for the national anthem to protest racial injustice, and others decline to visit the White House after championships, journalist Howard Bryant discusses the history of social protest among African-American athletes. His new book, 'The Heritage,' traces the tradition back to Jackie Robinson, Muhammad Ali, and others. Also, Kevin Whitehead reviews a new album by pianist Shamie Royston.

  • Paul Schrader & Ethan Hawke On 'First Reformed'
    Tue, Jun 12, 2018


    Schrader wrote and directed the new film 'First Reformed,' which stars Hawke as a pastor having a crisis of faith. Schrader also wrote 'Taxi Driver' and 'Raging Bull.' "I was intoxicated by action and empathy, sex and violence," Schrader says of his early work. "And these are not [themes] in the transcendental tool kit." He considers his new film to be his first spiritual film.

  • 'The Powers, Perversions, And Potential Of Heredity'
    Mon, Jun 11, 2018


    Carl Zimmer is a science columnist for the 'New York Times.' His new book, 'She Has Her Mother's Laugh,' is about the broader implications of genetic research and testing. Zimmer tells Terry Gross about genetically modified mosquitoes that are resistant to malaria, how genetic testing was used in the Golden State Killer case, and what he learned about his family history from having his entire genome sequenced. Also, Maureen Corrigan reviews two mysteries she thinks would make for terrific summer reading.

  • Best Of: Baseball's Keith Hernandez / Actor Nick Offerman
    Fri, Jun 08, 2018


    Hernandez played on World Series-winning teams with the Cardinals and Mets, and made a memorable appearance on 'Seinfeld.' His new memoir is 'I'm Keith Hernandez.' Also, Justin Chang reviews 'Hereditary,' which he says is the most emotionally devastating horror movie he's seen in ages. And Offerman has made a career out of playing colorful cranks — most notably, Ron Swanson, the boss on NBC's 'Parks and Recreation.' He now stars as a middle-age single dad in 'Hearts Beat Loud.'

  • Remembering Anthony Bourdain
    Fri, Jun 08, 2018


    Bourdain, who died at 61, traveled the world, sampling local cuisine and meeting people along the way. We listen back to his Fresh Air interview from 2016 when he talked about starting his career as a dishwasher, cooking for his daughter, and his love of street food. "I'm happiest experiencing food in the most purely emotional way," Bourdain said. And critic David Bianculli remembers the debut, 70 years ago this month, of two variety shows — one hosted by Milton Berle, the other by Ed Sullivan — that showcased the powerful impact of television.

  • Nick Offerman
    Thu, Jun 07, 2018


    After making a career playing colorful cranks, like Ron Swanson on 'Parks and Recreation,' Offerman plays a different, more nuanced character in 'Hearts Beat Loud.' "This is the largest role, by far, I've ever had in a film," he says. Also, critic Lloyd Schwartz reviews 'Cheek to Cheek,' a compilation of Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong.

  • How A Former FBI Agent Uses Twitter To Fight Terrorism
    Wed, Jun 06, 2018


    Clint Watts developed online relationships with terrorists and their sympathizers in order to understand and undermine terror networks. He also researched Russian efforts to influence U.S. elections. His new book is 'Messing with the Enemy.' Also, jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews a re-issue of a classic 1991 album by Anthony Braxton and his quartet, and film critic Justin Chang reviews the horror-thriller 'Hereditary,' starring Toni Collette.

  • Former Obama White House Staffer Ben Rhodes
    Tue, Jun 05, 2018


    Rhodes was a speechwriter and deputy national security adviser to President Obama. He talks about some of his more intense moments with the president and about Russian interference in the 2016 election. Rhodes' new memoir about his eight years in the White House is called 'The World as It Is.' Also, critic John Powers reviews the CIA thriller series 'Condor.'

  • First Baseman Keith Hernandez
    Mon, Jun 04, 2018


    Hernandez played on World Series-winning teams with the Cardinals and Mets, and made a memorable appearance on 'Seinfeld.' His new memoir about learning baseball and being his own worst enemy is 'I'm Keith Hernandez.' Also, jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews 'Stranger Days' by 23-year-old trumpeter Adam O'Farrill.

  • David Sedaris / Andr? Leon Talley
    Fri, Jun 01, 2018


    Best-selling humorist writer David Sedaris talks about his hobby picking up trash on the side of the road, the secret to being in a long relationship, and his new collection of stories, 'Calypso. Also, Maureen Corrigan reviews Stephen McCauley's new satirical novel 'My Ex-Life.' Andr? Leon Talley felt like a misfit growing up — until he stumbled upon a copy of 'Vogue.' Paging through the iconic fashion magazine, he says, was like traveling down a "rabbit hole [into] a world of glamour." Talley took over as the magazine's creative director in 1988, and served as editor-at-large from 1998 until 2013.

  • Author Tom Perrotta
    Fri, Jun 01, 2018


    Perrotta's previous books, 'Election' and 'Little Children,' were made into films, and 'The Leftovers' became an HBO series. His new book, 'Mrs. Fletcher,' tells the story of a single mother whose only child has left for college. Perrotta says the book was inspired by the upheaval he experienced when his own kids moved out. Also, book critic Maureen Corrigan reviews 'Florida' by Lauren Groff.

  • Andr? Leon Talley, Former 'Vogue' Editor-At-Large
    Thu, May 31, 2018


    Talley felt like a misfit growing up — until he stumbled upon a copy of the iconic fashion magazine. Paging through 'Vogue,' he says, was like traveling down a "rabbit hole [into] a world of glamour." The fashion titan talks about loneliness, working in Andy Warhol's Factory, and his signature caftans. Also, linguist Geoff Nunberg considers the future of cursive handwriting, and critic David Edelstein reviews the heist film 'American Animals.'

  • An Exiled Journalist's 'Fight For Freedom In Modern Iran'
    Wed, May 30, 2018


    Feminist activist and journalist Masih Alinejad discusses her campaign against a law requiring that Iranian women and girls to cover their heads with a hijab. Her new memoir is 'The Wind in My Hair.' Also, Maureen Corrigan reviews the funny new novel 'My Ex-Life,' and jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews the album 'Dr. Quixotic's Traveling Exotics' by Saxophonist Jon Irabagon.

  • David Sedaris
    Tue, May 29, 2018


    The best-selling humorist writer talks about his hobby picking up trash on the side of the road, the secret to being in a long relationship, and his new collection of stories, 'Calypso.' Also, classical music critic Lloyd Schwartz reviews violist Johnny Gandelsman's recording of Bach's Sonatas and Partitas.

  • How Rodgers & Hammerstein Revolutionized Broadway
    Mon, May 28, 2018


    Todd Purdum's new book, 'Something Wonderful,' is about the creative partnership and strained personal relationship behind such hit shows as 'Oklahoma!,' 'Carousel,' 'South Pacific' and 'The Sound of Music.' (Rebroadcast from April, 2018)

  • Best Of: Ronan Farrow / 'Jessica Jones' Actress Krysten Ritter
    Fri, May 25, 2018


    Farrow won a Pulitzer Prize for his reporting on the allegations against Harvey Weinstein. He talks about his childhood growing up with 13 siblings, many of whom have disabilities, being raised by a single mother, Mia Farrow, and going to college at age 11. Rock critic Ken Tucker reviews the new album 'Tell Me How You Really Feel' from Courtney Barnett. Also, 'Jessica Jones' star Krysten Ritter talks about why she loves the complex role of the atypical superhero.

  • Remembering Philip Roth, Part II
    Fri, May 25, 2018


    We continue our tribute to literary giant Philip Roth with excerpts of interviews about his novels 'The Plot Against America' and 'Everyman.' Roth died Tuesday at age 85. Also, TV critic David Bianculli reviews the new Amazon series 'Picnic at Hanging Rock.'

  • Remembering Philip Roth, Part I
    Thu, May 24, 2018


    The influential novelist won almost every major literary award, but still found the writing process was full of discovery. "Each and every sentence is a revelation," he said. Roth died Tuesday at 85. He spoke with Terry Gross seven times over the years. Over two episodes we'll listen back to excerpts of those interviews. Also, film critic Justin Chang reviews 'Solo: A Star Wars Story.'

  • Ronan Farrow
    Wed, May 23, 2018


    Farrow won a Pulitzer Prize for his reporting on the allegations against Harvey Weinstein. He was threatened while reporting the piece, in an attempt to suppress his investigation. We'll also talk about his childhood growing up with 13 siblings, many of whom have disabilities, being raised by a single mother, Mia Farrow, and going to college at age 11. His new book is 'War on Peace.'

  • A Feminist Take On The 'Science & Culture' Of Pregnancy
    Tue, May 22, 2018


    'Like a Mother' author Angela Garbes explains the importance of the placenta, the nutritional and immunological components of breast milk and the difficulties she faced in childbirth. Also, Ken Tucker reviews a the new album 'Tell Me How You Really Feel' from Courtney Barnett, and John Powers reviews the new British series 'The Split' on SundanceTV.

  • Writer Michael Chabon On Fatherhood
    Mon, May 21, 2018


    The Pulitzer Prize-winning author writes about his relationship with his father, as well as his own experiences as the parent of four, in 'Pops: Fatherhood in Pieces.' TV critic David Bianculli reviews the reboot of 'Rocky and Bullwinkle' on Amazon.

  • Best Of: Annette Bening / Tig Notaro
    Fri, May 18, 2018


    Bening starred in the films 'American Beauty,' 'The Kids Are All Right,' '20th Century Women,' and most recently, 'The Seagull.' Bening spoke with Terry Gross about her transition from stage to screen, her stop-and-start approach to show business, and her desire to play characters her own age. Also, critic Ken Tucker reviews 'Invasion of Privacy' by rapper Cardi B. In 2012, comic Tig Notaro became famous after her stand-up set about her cancer diagnosis went viral. Since then, she created the Amazon series 'One Mississippi,' got married and had twins. Her new special is 'Happy to Be Here.'

  • Remembering Tom Wolfe
    Fri, May 18, 2018


    Wolfe began experimenting with nonfiction writing techniques in the 1960s. The "new journalism" pioneer and best-selling author died Monday. He spoke withTerry Gross in 1987. Also, we listen back to a 2014 interview with author Edward St. Aubyn. His semi-autobiographical novels 'Patrick Melrose' have been adapted into a Showtime miniseries. And TV critic David Bianculli reviews the HBO movie 'Fahrenheit 451.'

  • President Trump's 'War' On The 'Deep State'
    Thu, May 17, 2018


    'New Yorker' staff writer Evan Osnos says that hundreds of non-partisan civil servants, considered not loyal enough to the administration, have been marginalized or pushed out of government entirely.

  • Comic Tig Notaro
    Wed, May 16, 2018


    In 2012, Notaro became famous after her stand-up set about her cancer diagnosis went viral. Since then, she created the Amazon series 'One Mississippi,' got married and had twins. She's also recorded a couple more stand-up specials, including one in which she took off her shirt and showed her double-mastectomy scars. Her new special is 'Happy to Be Here.' Film critic Justin Chang reviews 'First Reformer.'

  • Michael Pollan On The 'New Science' Of Psychedelics
    Tue, May 15, 2018


    Pollan, author of 'The Omnivore's Dilemma' and 'The Botany of Desire,' talks about his new book, 'How to Change Your Mind.' It covers the history of psychedelic drugs like LSD and magic mushrooms, and how they're now being used experimentally in therapeutic settings, to treat depression, addiction, and fear of death. Pollan also talks about his own experience experimenting with psychedelics. "I had an experience that was by turns frightening and ecstatic and weird," he says.

  • The Life And Death Of Robin Williams / 'Jessica Jones' Star Krysten Ritter
    Mon, May 14, 2018


    'New York Times' writer Dave Itzkoff examines Williams' comic brilliance and struggle with addiction in the biography 'Robin.' Williams took his own life in 2014; an autopsy later revealed he had Lewy body dementia. Also, 'Jessica Jones' star Krysten Ritter says she loves the complex role of the atypical superhero. "I am doing the most work when I'm not saying lines," she says. Netflix just renewed the series for a third season.

  • Best Of: Tracey Thorn / Chef Lidia Bastianich
    Fri, May 11, 2018


    Tracey Thorn (formerly of the band Everything But the Girl) stepped away from performing two decades ago in order to start a family. Now she sings about the different stages of women's lives on her solo album, 'Record.' Maureen Corrigan reviews the book 'Barracoon' by Zora Neale Hurston. Chef Lidia Bastianich talks about growing up eating farm-to-table meals with her Italian family. After she emigrated to America, she drew on those childhood meals in opening her first restaurant. Her new memoir is 'My American Dream.'

  • 'Crime And Punishment In Black America'
    Fri, May 11, 2018


    Yale Law professor James Forman Jr., son of civil rights activists, says that African-American leaders seeking to combat drugs and crime often supported policies that disproportionately targeted the black community. He received a 2018 Pulitzer Prize for his nonfiction book 'Locking Up Our Own.' Also, critic Ken Tucker reviews 'Invasion of Privacy' by rapper Cardi B.

  • Annette Bening
    Thu, May 10, 2018


    Bening starred in the films 'American Beauty,' 'The Grifters,' 'The Kids Are Alright,' and '20th Century Women.' Now she's in the screen adaptation of Anton Chekhov's 'The Seagull.' Bening spoke with Terry Gross about her transition from stage to screen, her stop-and-start approach to show business, and her desire to play characters her own age. Also, TV critic David Bianculli reviews the Showtime miniseries 'Patrick Melrose.'

  • New Email Dump Reveals Secret Inner Workings Of The EPA
    Wed, May 09, 2018


    'New York Times' reporter Eric Lipton says the response to a recent Freedom of Information Act request shows that Scott Pruitt and his staff have gone to great lengths to keep the public and the news media at a distance. Film critic Justin Chang reviews the thriller 'Beast.'

  • Jay & Mark Duplass
    Tue, May 08, 2018


    Filmmaker siblings Jay and Mark Duplass have been making movies together since they were kids. Their short film, 'This is John,' made for $3 on a VHS tape, went to the Sundance Film Festival. They've gone on to do HBO's 'Togetherness,' and films like 'The Puffy Chair.' Their new memoir, 'Like Brothers,' is about the rewards and difficulties of being in such a close, collaborative relationship. Also, Maureen Corrigan reviews the book 'Barracoon.'

  • Chef Lidia Bastianich
    Mon, May 07, 2018


    Bastianich grew up eating farm-to-table meals with her Italian family. After she emigrated to America, she drew on those childhood meals in opening her first restaurant. Her new memoir is 'My American Dream.' Also, critic at large John Powers reviews the novel 'The Mars Room' by Rachel Kushner.

  • Best Of: Comic Michelle Wolf / Journalist Alex Wagner
    Fri, May 04, 2018


    In an exclusive interview after the White House Correspondents' Dinner, Wolf addresses the backlash to her set. "I wouldn't change a single word. I'm very happy with what I said, and I'm glad I stuck to my guns." Also, CBS News contributor Alex Wagner talks about her search for the roots of her mixed-race ancestry. She used her reporting skills to investigate, digging through archives and getting multiple and conflicting genetic tests. Her book is 'Futureface.'

  • Lynching In America
    Fri, May 04, 2018


    The new National Memorial for Peace and Justice in Montgomery, Ala., honors the victims of lynching and racial terrorism in the U.S. 'Fresh Air' looks back on the history of lynching, including the grotesque picture postcards sold as lynching mementos. Historian Philip Dray and collector James Allen join us. Also contributor Mat Johnson talks about how his great-grandfather escaped being lynched.

  • Singer-Songwriter Tracey Thorn
    Thu, May 03, 2018


    The Everything But the Girl singer stepped away from performing two decades ago in order to start a family. Now she sings about the different stages of women's lives on her solo album, 'Record.'

  • 'Soul Of America' Makes Sense Of The Present By Examining The Past
    Wed, May 02, 2018


    Presidential historian Jon Meacham says looking back at times when the nation was divided by partisan fury and racial strife can help shed light on "the politics of the moment." Also, rock critic Ken Tucker reviews the album 'Sparrow' from country singer Ashley Monroe.

  • Comic Michelle Wolf On The Correspondents' Dinner
    Tue, May 01, 2018


    In an exclusive interview after the White House Correspondents' Dinner, Wolf addresses the backlash to her set. "I wouldn't change a single word. I'm very happy with what I said, and I'm glad I stuck to my guns." Also, we remember Iranian photographer Abbas, who spoke with Terry Gross in 2015.

  • Journalist Alex Wagner Seeks Out Her Roots In 'Futureface'
    Mon, Apr 30, 2018


    CBS News contributor Alex Wagner was curious about the roots of her mixed-race ancestry. She used her reporting skills to investigate, digging through archives and getting multiple and conflicting genetic tests. Her book is 'Futureface.' Also, book critic Maureen Corrigan reviews the "weird-but-true story" 'The Feather Thief.'

  • Best Of: Jake Tapper / Poet Gregory Pardlo
    Fri, Apr 27, 2018


    CNN anchor Jake Tapper talks about his heated interview with Trump adviser Stephen Miller, moderating presidential debates, and his new novel, 'The Hellfire Club.' Jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews a four-disc reissue of Louis Armstrong. Also, Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Gregory Pardlo discusses his new memoir, 'Air Traffic,' which chronicles his complicated relationship with his father, a labor organizer who lost his job following the air traffic controllers' 1981 strike.

  • Remembering 'Schoolhouse Rock!' Composer Bob Dorough
    Fri, Apr 27, 2018


    We remember jazz composer and singer Bob Dorough, who died this week at 94. He was best known for songs he wrote for 'Schoolhouse Rock!' like "My Hero, Zero" and "Three is a Magic Number." He spoke with Terry Gross in 1982 and 1996. Also, jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews a four-disc reissue of Louis Armstrong.

  • Jake Tapper
    Thu, Apr 26, 2018


    The CNN anchor talks about his heated interview with Trump adviser Stephen Miller, being parodied on 'SNL,' and cartooning. His new novel, 'The Hellfire Club,' takes place in 1954 during Sen. Joseph McCarthy's Communist "witch hunt" — a time he describes as "very resonant" to the current political climate.

  • How America's White Power Movement Coalesced After Vietnam
    Wed, Apr 25, 2018


    Historian Kathleen Belew says that as America's disparate racist groups came together in the 1970s and '80s, the movement's goal shifted from one of "vigilante activism" to something more wide-reaching. Her book is 'Bring the War Home.' Also, critic Ken Tucker shares some new hip-hop tracks he's been listening to.

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