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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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Now displaying: November, 2015
Nov 30, 2015

From Julius Caesar's last words to what Gladiator duels were actually like, classicist Mary Beard sets the record straight. Her new book is 'SPQR.'  Also, John Powers reviews France's Oscar submission, 'Mustang.'

Nov 28, 2015

Cécile McLorin Savant initially studied classical voice, but turned to jazz because it offered her more range. "In jazz I felt I could sing these deep husky lows," she says. Her new album is 'For One to Love.' Also, Justin Chang reviews 'The Danish Girl.' And music writer Peter Guralnick profiles the founder of Sun Records, Sam Phillips. Guralnick says Phillips rejected perfection in favor of spontaneity and individuality. Phillips discovered Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash, Howlin' Wolf, Charlie Rich, Roy Orbison and others.

Nov 27, 2015

In the '70s, Richard Carpenter and his sister Karen made up the pop duo The Carpenters. On Dec. 5, PBS will begin airing Close to You: Remembering the Carpenters. [Originally broadcast Nov. 2009]

Nov 26, 2015

Singer-songwriter Iris DeMent describes herself as extremely shy, but says that "when the songs started coming to me, I felt I didn't have the option to hide and avoid" the stage. Her latest album is 'The Trackless Woods.' [Originally broadcast October 2015]

Nov 25, 2015

Kander and his partner Fred Ebb wrote the songs for a number of musicals, including 'Chicago,' 'Cabaret,' and 'Kiss of the Spider Woman.' His new album is 'John Kander: Hidden Treasures.' Also, David Edelstein reviews 'Carol,' starring Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara.

Nov 24, 2015

New York Times reporter C.J. Chivers discusses efforts by ISIS to weaponize a mysterious substance known as Red Mercury. "It's never been seen," he says. "It essentially is an urban legend."

Nov 23, 2015

In his new book, 'Sam Phillips,' music writer Peter Guralnick profiles the founder of Sun Records. Guralnick says Phillips rejected perfection in favor of spontaneity and individuality. Phillips discovered Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash, Howlin' Wolf, Charlie Rich, Roy Orbison and others. Also, book critic Maureen Corrigan reviews 'The Mare.'

Nov 21, 2015

Peter Sohn's new film 'The Good Dinosaur' imagines a world in which the dinosaurs did not go extinct and live alongside humans. Sohn also worked on 'Up,' 'Ratatouille,' and 'Wall-E.' Also, TV critic David Bianculli reviews the new series streaming on Amazon, 'The Man in the High Castle.'  In John Crowley's new film 'Brooklyn,' Irish actress Saoirse Ronan plays a homesick immigrant forced to choose between her familiar hometown and an unpredictable new life.

Nov 20, 2015

The singer has written 2,500 songs and has won seven Grammys. He is now the recipient of the Gershwin Prize for American Popular Song. [Originally broadcast on July 16, 1996 and May 25, 2006.]

Nov 19, 2015

Abbas became interested in religion while covering the Iranian Revolution. "I could see that the waves of passion [that were] raised by the Revolution were not going to stop at the borders," he says. Abbas spent seven years chronicling Islam, then he moved on to other faiths, such as Christianity, Buddhism, Judaism, Paganism and Shamanism. Also, multimedia artist Laurie Anderson talks about her documentary 'Heart of the Dog.' 

Nov 18, 2015

Peter Sohn's new film 'The Good Dinosaur' imagines a world in which the dinosaurs did not go extinct and live alongside humans. Sohn also worked on 'Up,' 'Ratatouille,' and 'Wall-E.'  Also, TV critic David Bianculli reviews the new series streaming on Amazon, 'The Man in the High Castle.'

Nov 17, 2015

Irish actress Saoirse Ronan plays a homesick immigrant forced to choose between her familiar hometown and an unpredictable new life in John Crowley's new film, 'Brooklyn.' Also, Fresh Air producer Sam Briger talks to novelist David Mitchell about 'Slade House,' which began as a series of tweets.

Nov 16, 2015

Elaine Sciolino, the former Paris bureau chief for The New York Times, says the city's recent terror attacks highlight growing tensions concerning multiculturalism and immigration in France. Rock critic Ken Tucker reviews an album from Wreckless Eric. 

Nov 14, 2015

As hosts of Saturday Night Live's news segment, Colin Jost and Michael Che are used to joking about hot-button issues. "Whoever is in a position of power, you're going to take shots at," Jost says. The two talk about having Donald Trump host and their first open mic nights. Ken Tucker considers the confluence of country and pop music following the Justin Timberlake/Chris Stapleton duet at the CMAs. Shonda Rhimes, the force behind ABC's Grey's Anatomy, Scandal and How to Get Away with Murder, loves telling stories. "My goal is to find a way to spend all of my time writing," Rhimes says.

Nov 13, 2015

Allen Toussaint, a central figure in the New Orleans R&B scene during the 50s and 60s, died in Spain on Monday. He was 77. [Originally broadcast in 1988.] Film critic David Edelstein reviews 'Brooklyn.' 

Nov 12, 2015

New York Times reporter Jessica Silver-Greenberg says many companies' contracts force consumers to settle complaints through arbitration instead of in court, and include bans on class action suits. Also Kevin Whitehead reviews a posthumous album from jazz duo Kenny Wheeler and John Taylor, and Maureen Corrigan reviews the book of essays 'This Old Man' by Roger Angell.

Nov 11, 2015

The force behind ABC's Grey's Anatomy, Scandal and How to Get Away with Murder loves telling stories. "My goal is to find a way to spend all of my time writing," Rhimes says. Ken Tucker reviews the Country Music Awards and a new album by Old Dominion. 

Nov 10, 2015

As hosts of Saturday Night Live's news segment, Colin Jost and Michael Che are used to joking about hot-button issues. "Whoever is in a position of power, you're going to take shots at," Jost says. The two talk about having Donald Trump host and their first open mic nights. 

Nov 9, 2015

Former Charlie Hebdo cartoonist Riad Sattouf grew up in the Middle East and France with a French mother and Syrian father. "I hate nationalism," he says. "Comic book author [is] my first nationality." His best-selling graphic memoir, 'The Arab of the Future,' is now out in English.  Also, actress Brie Larson talks about playing Ma in the film 'Room,' about a woman held captive in a shed with her 5-year-old son for seven years.

Nov 7, 2015

Writing partners Ansari and Yang bonded over their similar experiences as first-generation Asian-Americans living very different lives from their parents. Their new Netflix series is 'Master of None.' Illeana Douglas, who appeared in 'Six Feet Under' and 'Cape Fear,' discusses growing up on a commune, working with (and dating) Scorsese and her various acting gigs. Douglas' memoir is 'I Blame Dennis Hopper.'

Nov 6, 2015

The 'Girls' creator and star talks about oversharing, her OCD, and the way sexuality is portrayed in pop culture. Her memoir, 'Not That Kind of Girl' is now out in paperback. [Originally broadcast September 2014.] Actor Ron Perlman describes himself as having a face, "that was not ugly but surely one of its kind." His memoir is 'Easy Street (The Hard Way).' [Originally broadcast September 2014.] Film critic David Edelstein reviews 'Spotlight.'

Nov 5, 2015

Writing partners Ansari and Yang bonded over their similar experiences as first-generation Asian-Americans living very different lives from their parents. Their new Netflix series is 'Master of None.'

Nov 4, 2015

Cécile McLorin Savant initially studied classical voice, but turned to jazz because it offered her more range. "In jazz I felt I could sing these deep husky lows," she says. Her new album is 'For One to Love.' Critic at-large reviews 'Boxes,' a newly translated book by late French novelist Pascal Garnier. 

Nov 3, 2015

When they ran out of room for rescue animals in their home, Tracey Stewart and her husband, former 'Daily Show' host Jon Stewart, bought a farm. Tracey Stewart's new book is 'Do Unto Animals.' Maureen Corrigan reviews 'Twain & Stanley' by late Pulitzer Prize-winning author Oscar Hijuelos.

Nov 2, 2015

The actress, who appeared in 'Six Feet Under' and 'Cape Fear,' discusses growing up on a commune, working with (and dating) Scorsese and her various acting gigs. Douglas' memoir is 'I Blame Dennis Hopper.'  Jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews the 'Complete Bee Hive Recordings.'

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