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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: May, 2016
May 31, 2016

Science writer Mary Roach explores the curious science of humans at war in her new book, 'Grunt.' She talks about traveler's diarrhea, medical maggots, and stink bombs, and new scientific developments that help keep soldiers safe. Also, we hear an excerpt of our 1980 interview with G. Gordon Liddy, and jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews 'Cuong Vu Trio Meets Pat Metheny.'

May 30, 2016

Questlove, the drummer and leader of The Tonight Show's house band The Roots, says he's obsessed with the creative process. His new book, 'somethingtofoodabout', is a collection of his interviews with chefs about how art and creativity apply to their preparation and presentation of food. Speaking with Terry Gross in front of an audience in Philadelphia, he talks about Prince, his late father Lee Andrews, and the food equivalent of the 'Mona Lisa.'

May 28, 2016

In season four of the IFC show 'Maron,' the comic (playing a fictionalized version of himself) relapses with painkillers, and ends up losing his podcast, his cats, and his home. Marc Maron talks about his own experience in rehab, his confessional comedy, and how to reconcile his anxious persona with his current success. Also, linguist Geoff Nunberg discusses the usage of "I feel like." Rabbi Susan Silverman is a mother of five children (two of whom were adopted from Ethiopia) and the older sister of the irreverent comic Sarah Silverman. She talks about how she became a rabbi after growing up in a secular family, her separation anxiety, and her relationship with her sister.

May 27, 2016

The star of the new Netflix series 'Lady Dynamite' has used comedy to address her struggles with OCD, bipolar disorder, and suicidal thoughts. She spoke to Terry Gross in 2013. Film critic David Edelstein reviews the documentary 'Weiner,' about former congressman Anthony Weiner's 2013 political scandal.

May 26, 2016

The New Yorker's Jane Mayer discusses conservative activist James O'Keefe's latest botched sting operation, and the new kind of political opposition research he pioneered. TV critic David Bianculli reviews the remake of 'Roots.'

May 25, 2016

J. Kael Weston, former State Department adviser for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, talks about why he feels personally responsible for the deaths of 30 marines and one navy corpsman. "There's a memorial in South Boston that says, 'If you forget my death only then will I have died in vain,' and I think that's the cleanest , most powerful message that should apply to every war," Weston says. Book critic Maureen Corrigan shares her favorite suspense novels of the summer.

May 24, 2016

In season four of the IFC show 'Maron,' the comic (playing a fictionalized version of himself) relapses with painkillers, and ends up losing his podcast, his cats, and his home -- and living in a storage unit. Marc Maron talks about his own experience in rehab, his confessional comedy, and how to reconcile his anxious persona with his current success. Also, linguist Geoff Nunberg discusses the usage of "I feel like."

May 23, 2016

Rabbi Susan Silverman, the author of the memoir 'Casting Lots,' is a mother of five children (two of whom were adopted from Ethiopia) and the older sister of the irreverent comic Sarah Silverman. She talks about how she became a rabbi after growing up in a secular family, her separation anxiety, and her relationship with her sister. Ken Tucker reviews album 'Cult Following' by Little Scream.

May 21, 2016

Barris' ABC comedy series 'Black-ish' was inspired by his own family experiences. He talks about police brutality, Obama's inauguration, and raising his kids in a predominantly white neighborhood. John Powers reviews the film, 'A Bigger Splash.' Viet Thanh Nguyen and his family fled their village in South Vietnam in 1975. He won the Pulitzer Prize this year for 'The Sympathizer,' a spy novel set during and just after the war in Vietnam.

May 20, 2016

After five seasons as Walt on AMC's 'Breaking Bad,' Cranston reinvented himself as Lyndon B. Johnson in the play (and now HBO film) 'All the Way.' Film critic David Edelstein reviews 'Maggie's Plan,' starring Greta Gerwig, and we remember '60 Minutes' correspondent Morley Safer in an excerpt of his 1990 interview. He died Thursday at 84.

May 19, 2016

Documents leaked from a Panama-based law firm have offered new insight into how easy it is for the rich and corrupt to hide their assets. McClatchy's Kevin Hall has been reporting on the documents. Jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews a new album from Ralph Peterson's trio. Maureen Corrigan reviews 'Eleven Hours,' a novel about the "beauty and brutality" of childbirth.

May 18, 2016

Barris' ABC comedy series 'Black-ish' was inspired by his own family experiences. He says the show is about "raising your kids in a different environment than you were accustomed to being raised in." He talks about police brutality, the n-word, and why his show isn't like 'The Cosby Show.'

May 17, 2016

Viet Thanh Nguyen and his family fled their village in South Vietnam in 1975. He won the Pulitzer Prize this year for 'The Sympathizer,' a spy novel set during and just after the war in Vietnam. TV critic David Bianculli discusses late-night TV's shift to any-time social media.

May 16, 2016

Dr. Siddhartha Mukherjee says genetics play a significant role in identity, temperament, sexual orientation, and disease risk -- but that environment also matters. His new book is 'The Gene.' John Powers reviews the film, 'A Bigger Splash.'

May 14, 2016

Pulitzer-Prize winning author Richard Russo on his new novel 'Everybody's Fool,' caring for his mother who suffered from OCD, and why he "feels like an idiot" going to cemeteries. Daniel Clowes is one of the most influential artists in the independent comics world. He talks about his latest book, 'Patience.'  Author Bronwen Dickey says the idea of pit bulls as predators is based on myth and misinformation. In the early Hollywood era, the dogs were often chosen to appear in comedies. Her book is 'Pit Bull: The Battle Over an American Icon.'

May 13, 2016

Author D. Watkins says that crack destroyed his East Baltimore neighborhood, and he explains how the real day-to-day of selling drugs is nothing like the movies. David Edelstein reviews 'Love & Friendship,' adapted from a Jane Austen novel. We remember poet Michael S. Harper.

May 12, 2016

Gary Cole talks 'Veep,' getting mistaken for Gary Coleman, and why 'Office Space' endures. Daniel Clowes is one of the most influential artists in the independent comics world. His latest book, 'Patience,' uses time travel to look at the ways random events can set a life on a new path.

May 11, 2016

There are almost 12 million admissions to local jails each year in the U.S. Activist Nancy Fishman says that most of those jailed are poor people being held for low-level offenses, like traffic violations.  Ken Tucker reviews a new album from Car Seat Headrest.

May 10, 2016

Author Bronwen Dickey says the idea of pit bulls as predators is based on myth and misinformation. In the early Hollywood era, the dogs were often chosen to appear in comedies. Her book is 'Pit Bull: The Battle Over an American Icon.' Rock historian Ed Ward shares soul singer Clarence Carter's story. Book critic Maureen Corrigan reviews 'Heat & Light' by Jennifer Haigh.

May 9, 2016

Pulitzer-Prize winning author of 'Empire Falls' Richard Russo on his new novel 'Everybody's Fool,' caring for his mother who suffered from OCD, and why he "feels like an idiot" going to cemeteries. TV critic David Bianculli reviews the series finale of 'The Good Wife.'

May 7, 2016

A look back at the L.A. punk scene with three people who helped define it. John Doe and Exene Cervenka, co-founders of the band X, and Dave Alvin, who joined X for a few years as their lead guitarist. In John Doe's new memoir, 'Under the Big Black Sun,' Doe brings together his own essays and stories from other musicians and scene-makers from that time. Comic Jerrod Carmichael has been described as having "one of standup's most unorthodox approaches to exploring race and class." His standup can make you squirm because he says things like, "I'm starting to appreciate slavery." Jerrod Carmichael is the creator and star of the NBC sitcom 'The Carmichael Show.'

May 6, 2016

Retired New York City police officer Steve Osborne shares stories including chasing a robber into a train tunnel and breaking up a knife fight. "Your heart is pounding; your adrenaline is shooting out of your ears," he says. "And you got one second to get it right." Over his 20 years of duty he never fired his gun. His memoir, 'The Job,' is now out in paperback. Jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews 'Perfection' from power trio David Murray, Gerri Allen, and Terri Lyne Carrington. Film critic David Edelstein reviews 'Captain America: Civil War.'

May 5, 2016

Historian Frank Dikötter says newly opened archives offer fresh details about the chaos China experienced in the 1960s, when Chairman Mao urged students to take to the streets. Ken Tucker offers his thoughts on Beyoncé's 'Lemonade.'

May 4, 2016

Growing up in the tribal region of Pakistan, Maria Toorpakai pretended she was a boy in order to compete as a weightlifter. Later she became an internationally-known squash champion. Her memoir is 'A Different Kind of Daughter.' Also, Fresh Air producer Ann Marie Baldonado talks to 'Once' director John Carney about his new film 'Sing Street,' about a teenager in the '80s who starts a band.

May 3, 2016

The 'Nightly Show' host talks about his controversial performance at the White House Correspondents' Dinner in which he used the n-word referring to the President. "It definitely was a risk," he says.  Also, we remember Jesuit priest and anti-war activist Daniel Berrigan who died Sunday.

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