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Fresh Air

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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Oct 19, 2017

Green’s phenomenally popular young adult novel ‘The Fault in Our Stars’ is about a relationship between two teens with cancer. His new novel ‘Turtles All The Way Down’ is about a 16 year-old girl with OCD, which Green has, too. TV Critic David Bianculli reviews the new Hulu documentary ‘Too Funny To Fail.’

Oct 18, 2017

Though President Trump ran as an outsider, ‘New Yorker’ writer Jane Mayer describes his vice president as "the connective tissue" between Trump and the billionaire donors in the Republican party. Mayer talks about how Pence became vice president, and what kind of president he might be if Trump doesn't serve his full term. 

Oct 17, 2017

Tan explores the contradictions of her upbringing in the memoir, ‘Where the Past Begins.’ In it, she connects her experiences with spirituality to those of her parents and of her maternal grandmother, who was a concubine. Also, book critic Maureen Corrigan reviews ‘Death in the Air.’

Oct 16, 2017

Sleep scientist Matthew Walker says sleep deficiency is associated with problems with concentration, memory, the immune system and shorter lifespans. Walker discusses the effects of caffeine, alcohol, sleeping pills and some tips to help you sleep better. His book is ‘Why We Sleep.’ Also, film critic David Edelstein reviews the documentary ‘Faces Places.’

Oct 14, 2017

The 'Tonight Show' host talks with Terry Gross about his new children's book, being entertaining in times of tragedy, and the biggest thing he learned from his time at 'SNL.' Also, jazz critic Kevin Whitehead shares an appreciation of Thelonious Monk, for the centennial of his birth. Author Daniel Mendelsohn says having his 81-year-old father in the college seminar he was teaching about 'The Odyssey' led to an unexpected bonding. His book is 'An Odyssey: A Father, A Son, and an Epic.'

Oct 13, 2017

Journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones says school segregation will continue to exist in America "as long as individual parents continue to make choices that only benefit their own children." Hannah-Jones is a 2017 MacArthur fellow. Also, film critic Justin Chang reviews ‘The Meyerowitz Stories,’ directed by Noah Baumbach.

Oct 12, 2017

The ‘Tonight Show’ host talks with Terry Gross about his new children’s book, being entertaining in times of tragedy, and the biggest thing he learned from his time at ‘SNL.’ Also, TV critic David Bianculli reviews the new Netflix series ‘Mindhunter.’

Oct 11, 2017

Baumbach’s new film ‘The Meyerowitz Stories’ mixes comedy with deep emotional pain. It revolves around three adult siblings whose father is a self-absorbed sculptor. Baumbach’s previous films include ‘Frances Ha’ and ‘The Squid and the Whale.’ Also, film historian Noah Isenberg talks about the making of ‘Casablanca,’ and why it endures 75 years later.

Oct 10, 2017

‘New Yorker’ writer Dexter Filkins says Sec. of State Rex Tillerson is a diplomat in an administration that doesn't value diplomacy: "Rex is a sober, steady guy, and the president is anything but that." Filkins also talks about the possibility of war with North Korea, and the consequences of having an understaffed State Department. Jazz critic Kevin Whitehead shares an appreciation of Thelonious Monk, on his 100th birthday.

Oct 9, 2017

In the early 1930s Stalin orchestrated a famine to suppress the nationalist movement in Ukraine, and strengthen Russian influence. Millions of people died. Anne Applebaum says, “so much of why the Ukrainian famine was possible was because of the way in which the Soviet Union used disinformation, propaganda, and what we would now call hate speech to encourage people to do terrible things.” Her book is ‘The Red Famine.’ Applebaum also discusses Russian interference in recent elections. Book critic Maureen Corrigan reviews the short story collection ‘The Obama Inheritance.’

Oct 7, 2017

Jonathan Eig talks about his new biography of Muhammad Ali, which draws on hundreds of interviews and previously unreleased FBI and Justice Department files. Linguist Geoff Nunberg says 50 years after the 'Summer of Love,' we're still using language popularized by hippies. Roz Chast talks about her new book of cartoons, 'Going into Town: A Love Letter to New York.' 

Oct 6, 2017

‘Fresh Air’ TV critic David Bianculli’s book revisits the best of the small screen — from ‘I Love Lucy’ to ‘The Walking Dead.’ Film critic Justin Chang reviews ‘The Florida Project.’

Oct 5, 2017

Journalist Mike Spies says the NRA’s push to allow guns on college campuses, in daycare centers and in bars is part of an effort to “normalize gun carrying as much as possible in public life.” Also, rock critic Ken Tucker reviews the album ’Trip’ from singer/songwriter Jhené Aiko. Film critic David Edelstein reviews ‘Blade Runner 2049’ starring Ryan Gosling.

Oct 4, 2017

Jonathan Eig’s new biography of Ali draws on hundreds of interviews and previously unreleased FBI and Justice Department files. "I don't think we do Ali any good by treating him as a saint," Eig says. "He was a human being, and he was deeply flawed, but ... he had the spirit of a rebel."  Also linguist Geoff Nunberg says 50 years after the ‘Summer of Love,’ we’re still using language popularized by hippies.

Oct 3, 2017

Singer and guitarist Tom Petty, who died Monday night, spoke with Terry Gross in 2006 about the seeds of his Hall Of Fame career: "We always wanted very much to create our own sound." Milo Miles reviews a new collection of African dance music.

Oct 2, 2017

Chast has a new book of cartoons called ‘Going into Town: A Love Letter to New York.’  Author Daniel Mendelsohn says having his 81-year-old father in the college seminar he was teaching about 'The Odyssey' led to an unexpected bonding. His book is ‘An Odyssey: A Father, A Son, and an Epic.’

Sep 30, 2017

David Simon and George Pelecanos (creator/producer of 'The Wire') talk about their new HBO series 'The Deuce,' which takes place in 1971 New York City, when the streets were rife with sex workers and the porn industry was beginning to take off. Writer Haroon Mogul talks about how a minor encounter at a border crossing helped him out of depression. David Litt, a former speechwriter for President Obama, talks about his “hopey, changey” years in the White House.

Sep 29, 2017

TV critic David Bianculli shares an appreciation of  HBO’s ’Curb Your Enthusiasm’ and its star, ‘Seinfeld’ co-creator Larry David. Larry David spoke with ‘Fresh Air’ in 2015. ‘Curb’ is returning this weekend, after a six year hiatus. And we’ll listen back to an excerpt of Terry Gross’ 1999 conversation with ‘Playboy’ founder Hugh Hefner. He died this week at 91.

Sep 28, 2017

‘New York Times’ reporter Nicholas Confessore explains how Trump's election was a boon to those with access to the president. "If you had a Trump connection, you could write your own ticket," he says. Film critic David Edelstein reviews ‘American Made’ starring Tom Cruise.

Sep 27, 2017

Simon and Pelecanos (creator/producer of ‘The Wire’) talk about their new HBO series ‘The Deuce,’ which takes place in 1971 New York City, when the streets were rife with sex workers and the porn industry was beginning to take off. “The ‘pornographication’ of America has been profound,” Simon says. “You don't have a multi-billion dollar industry operating every year and not have it transform the way we think about ourselves and each other.”

Sep 26, 2017

Author Candice Millard argues that Churchill’s battlefield coverage and daring escape from capture while serving as a correspondent for a British newspaper during the Boer War were turning points in his life. Millard’s book is ‘Hero of the Empire.’ Also, book critic Maureen Corrigan reviews ‘Manhattan Beach’ by Jennifer Egan. Contributor Haroon Mogul talks about how a minor encounter at a border crossing helped him out of depression.

Sep 25, 2017

Litt says that writing speeches and jokes for President Obama was often a delicate task: "There's a whole industry of people trying to take your words out of context." Litt’s new memoir is ‘Thanks, Obama: My Hopey, Changey White House Years.’ Also, Ken Tucker reviews two new albums from the band Deer Tick.

Sep 23, 2017

Wainwright III has written remarkable songs about family, and how we hurt and heal each other. Now he details his life as a husband, father, son, philanderer and musician in the memoir 'Liner Notes.'  David Bianculli reviews the new Jerry Seinfeld Netflix special. Filmmakers Ken Burns and Lynn Novick talk about their new 10-part PBS series ‘The Vietnam War,’ which tells the story of the war from multiple perspectives, including the North Vietnamese.

Sep 22, 2017

John Powers remembers the monumental ’Battle of the Sexes’ match between tennis players Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs, and we listen back to our 2013 interview with 20-time Wimbledon champion Billie Jean King, who led a movement that demanded fairer treatment and pay for female players. Her famous ‘Battle of the Sexes’ is now at the center of a feature film starring Emma Stone. She talked to ‘Fresh Air’ about the challenges of being a female player before there was a women's league. Jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews ‘To Love And Be Loved’ by pianist Harold Mabern.

Sep 21, 2017

In their new 10-part PBS documentary series, the filmmakers uncover never-before-seen footage from the Vietnam War. The series tells the story of the war from multiple perspectives: American soldiers, the government, the South and North Vietnamese, and the protestors in the U.S.  Also, film critic David Edelstein reviews ‘Trophy.’

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