The author of the bestsellers ‘The Corrections’ and ‘Freedom,’ talks about his new novel, ‘Purity.’ Also, science writer Steve Silberman, author of the new book, NeuroTribes, discusses how our understanding of autism has changed over the decades, and how myths about autism caught on.
We remember director Wes Craven by listening back to several interviews Terry Gross recorded with him over the years. Craven, who is best known for his horror films ‘Scream,’ and ‘A Nightmare on Elm Street’ died Sunday, August 30th. Also, critic Milo Miles reviews a new collection of songs by Argentina's most famous pop star. And commentator Jessica Grose considers the challenges of parenting when pre-schools are making it harder for working parents.
The New Yorker staff writer Evan Osnos discusses his article about Trump's white nationalist support. Also linguist Geoff Nunberg examines new attacks on the word "so" and considers whether “so” is being overused.
Science writer Steve Silberman talks about how different factors -- including Nazi extermination plans and a (now discredited) journal article about vaccines -- have shaped our current understanding of autism. Book critic Maureen Corrigan reviews Jonathan Franzen's new novel, 'Purity.'
The author of 'The Corrections' and the new novel 'Purity' likens writing to losing himself in a dream. "When it's really going well ... you're in a fantasy land and feeling no pain," he says.
The neurologist, who died Sunday, saw "infinitely moving, dramatic, romantic situations" during his decades studying the human brain. Fresh Air remembers Sacks with interviews from 1985 and 2012.
The musical and graphic novel 'Fun Home' describe Alison Bechdel's coming out, and her dad's closeted homosexuality. She says, "In many ways ... my professional career has been a reaction to my father's life." 'Fun Home' won five Tonys this year, including the award for best musical. Lyricst Lisa Kron and composer Jeanine Tesori join Bechdel in the conversation. Sarah Hepola once got so drunk that she gave a presentation to 300 people — and didn't remember a thing the next day. She wrestles with her reasons for drinking in the memoir 'Blackout.'
From 'Batman' to 'Birdman,' Michael Keaton knows suits and superheroes. The actor talks about his Oscar-nominated performance and growing up the youngest of seven kids. [Originally broadcast February 2015] Jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews the debut album from vocalist Tiffany Austin.
Writer Chris Offutt's late father went from running a small insurance agency to writing more than 400 books, mostly pornography. Offutt discusses his father's career. Also, Larry David talks about his Broadway show 'Fish in the Dark,' and how his character on 'Curb Your Enthusiasm' changed him in real life. [Originally broadcast March 2015]
Actor Adam Driver of 'Girls' stars in Noah Baumbach's film, 'While We're Young.' He talks about leaving the Marines for Juilliard, doing sex scenes in 'Girls,' and why he'll never watch his own performances. [Originally broadcast April 2015] John Powers reviews the the USA series 'Mr.Robot.'
Richard Price says that in every precinct there's one cop who just can't let go of a case. "They all reminded me of Ahab looking for their whales," he says. Price's latest is called 'The Whites.' [Originally broadcast February 2015] TV critic David Bianculli reviews 'Public Morals,' a new police drama set in the '60s.
Nobel Prize-winning writer Toni Morrison discusses her new novel, 'God Help the Child.' At 84, she looks back on her life and says she regrets everything. "It's not profound regret," she says. "It's just a wiping up of tiny little messes that you didn't recognize as mess when they were going on." [Originally broadcast April 2015] Book critic Maureen Corrigan reviews a short story collection called 'A Manual for Cleaning Women.'
Larry Wilmore discusses Bill Cosby, being a "blerd" (black nerd), and the advice Jon Stewart gave him. He hosts his 100th episode of 'The Nightly Show' this week. John Powers reviews the new documentary 'Best of Enemies' about the 1968 debates between William F. Buckley and Gore Vidal — who hated each other. Actress Lily Tomlin stars in the film 'Grandma' and with Jane Fonda in the Netflix series 'Grace and Frankie.' We discuss her life and work, including her marrying her long, long time partner Jane Wagner a year and a half ago.
Human rights lawyer Bryan Stevenson represents those who have been abandoned. His clients are people on death row — abused and neglected children who were prosecuted as adults and placed in adult prisons where they were beaten and sexually abused, and mentally disabled people whose illnesses helped land them in prison where their special needs were unmet. "I'm not persuaded that the opposite of poverty is wealth," he says. "I've come to believe ... that the opposite of poverty is justice." David Edelstein reviews mountain climbing documentary 'Meru.'
From self-driving cars to automated warehouses, humans are being pushed out of the equation. Soon, robots will "do a million other things we can't even conceive of," author John Markoff says. TV critic David Bianculli reviews the IFC spoof 'Documentary Now!' and the prequel series 'Fear the Walking Dead.'
The host discusses Bill Cosby, being a "blerd" (black nerd), and the advice Jon Stewart gave him. He hosts his 100th episode of 'The Nightly Show' this week.
Actress Lily Tomlin stars in the film 'Grandma' and with Jane Fonda in the Netflix series 'Grace and Frankie.' We discuss her life and work, including her marrying her long, long time partner Jane Wagner a year and a half ago. John Powers reviews the new documentary 'Best of Enemies' about the 1968 debates between William F. Buckley and Gore Vidal -- who hated each other. Jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews the new album by the Maria Schneider Orchestra.
The musical and graphic novel 'Fun Home' describe Bechdel's coming out, and her dad's closeted homosexuality. She says, "In many ways ... my professional career has been a reaction to my father's life." 'Fun Home' won five Tonys this year, including the award for best musical. Lyricst Lisa Kron and composer Jeanine Tesori join Bechdel in the conversation.
Some 30,000 African elephants die each year as a result of poaching. Journalist Bryan Christy wanted to see where their tusks were going, so he created fake tusks and embedded them with GPS trackers. Justin Chang reviews 'Mistress America' starring Greta Gerwig. Graphic artist and professor Phoebe Gloeckner wrote the graphic novel, 'The Diary of a Teenage Girl,' based on her experience losing her virginity to her mother's boyfriend when she was 15. Filmmaker Marielle Heller adapted the story into a new movie.
The late writer David Foster Wallace spoke to Terry Gross in 1997 when 'Infinite Jest' was published in paperback. He talks about irony, happiness, and why he doesn't have a TV. He is the subject of the new film, 'The End of the Tour,' starring Jason Segel and Jesse Eisenberg. Segel was on 'Fresh Air' in 2009. He discusses breakups, bromance, and growing up on 'Freaks and Geeks.' Finally, David Bianculli reviews HBO's miniseries 'Show Me A Hero,' by David Simon, creator of 'The Wire.'
When she was 15, Phoebe Gloeckner lost her virginity to her mother's boyfriend. Gloeckner wrote about the experience in 'The Diary of a Teenage Girl,' which Marielle Heller adapted into a film. We begin with a review of the film from David Edelstein.
Some 30,000 African elephants die each year as a result of poaching. Journalist Bryan Christy wanted to see where their tusks were going, so he created fake tusks and embedded them with GPS trackers. Also, Ken Tucker reviews Iris DeMent's new album of poetry set to music, 'The Trackless Woods.'
American sex laws have not always kept pace with society's changing standards. In 'The Boundaries of Desire,' Eric Berkowitz explores how the legal system has addressed sex in the last century. Book critic Maureen Corrigan reviews 'A Tour of Bones.' In 'Do Not Sell At Any Price,' Amanda Petrusich details the extreme measures collectors take in pursuit of rare 78rpm records.
The Voting Rights Act of 1965 outlawed racial discrimination in voting. But author Ari Berman says a 2013 Supreme Court ruling blocks the act's enforcement -- and opened the door for new restrictions.
Twenty-five years ago, Buzz Bissinger wrote about the big-time stakes of small-town high-school football in 'Friday Night Lights.' Now he talks about the impact the book had on the players and himself. Maureen Corrigan reviews noir novel 'Dragonfish.' In her new book, 'Voices in the Ocean,' Susan Casey describes the life of dolphins and details some new threats the animals face, such as organized dolphin kills and man-made sounds in the ocean.