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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: July, 2016
Jul 30, 2016

Over the course of his career, actor Michael K. Williams says he's learned to separate himself from his characters (like Omar on 'The Wire'). He also co-starred in 'Boardwalk Empire,' and is now in HBO's 'The Night Of.' Critic at-large John Powers reviews a new dystopian novel. Also we hear from soul singer Sharon Jones. In 2013, she was forced to take a hiatus from her band The Dap-Kings, after she was diagnosed with cancer. The documentary 'Miss Sharon Jones!' follows her musical comeback.

Jul 29, 2016

British columnist Caitlin Moran talks about her book 'How to Be a Woman,' which is part memoir, part comic manifesto. Moran discusses her early understanding of feminism, and also abortion, waxing, and marriage. We also listen back to interviews with two people who died this week: Tim LaHaye, co-author of the apocalyptic 'Left Behind' novels, and Marni Nixon, who dubbed singing for actresses in the films 'The King and I,' 'West Side Story, and 'My Fair Lady.' Film critic David Edelstein reviews 'Jason Bourne.'

Jul 28, 2016

In 2013, the energetic lead singer for The Dap-Kings was forced to take a hiatus from the band after she was diagnosed with cancer. The documentary 'Miss Sharon Jones!' follows her musical comeback. Linguist Geoff Nunberg discusses Donald Trump's pledge to be the "law-and-order candidate."

Jul 27, 2016

As a reporter for The New York Times, Amy Chozick's beat is Hillary Clinton. But, Chozick says, it's hard to get to know a candidate who "has been so scarred" by her decades in the public eye.

Jul 26, 2016

Ailes resigned last week amid allegations of sexual harassment. Biographer and journalist Gabriel Sherman joins us to discuss the accusations, as well as Ailes' influence on political discourse in America. Critic at-large John Powers reviews 'The Natural Way of Things,' by Charlotte Wood. Kevin Whitehead shares an appreciation of jazz guitarist Charlie Christian.

Jul 25, 2016

Over the course of his career, Williams says he's learned to separate himself from his characters (like The Wire's Omar). In HBO's 'The Night Of,' he plays a powerful prison inmate named Freddy. Rock critic Ken Tucker reviews Maxwell's new album 'blackSUMMERS'night.'

Jul 23, 2016

Mike Birbiglia talks about parenthood, his new film, 'Don't Think Twice,' and how he stopped procrastinating writing his screenplay. John Powers reviews 'Zero Days,' a chilling new documentary by Alex Gibney. Then David Mandel, the Emmy-nominated writer, director and executive producer of the HBO series 'Veep,' discusses this past season, working with Julia Louis-Dreyfus, and getting his start working for Al Franken.

Jul 22, 2016

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. His book 'Give Us the Ballot' is now out in paperback. Film critic David Edelstein reviews 'Star Trek Beyond.'

Jul 21, 2016

We hear from Tom Gibbons, a former Philadelphia police officer, who was shot three times. We'll also hear from Eric Adams, who has marched against police brutality, and served as an NYPD officer. He was beaten by police when he was 15, and now, as a black father, he worries about his son. Mat Johnson reads an essay about what the craft of storytelling can offer us as we try to make sense of our times. 

Jul 20, 2016

David Mandel, the Emmy-nominated writer, director and executive producer of the HBO series 'Veep,' talks about this past season, working with Julia Louis-Dreyfus, and the 2016 election. Then we remember Garry Marshall, the man behind 'Happy Days' and 'Laverne & Shirley,' and countless other TV shows and films. Marshall spoke to Fresh Air in 1991. He died yesterday at 81.

Jul 19, 2016

Birbiglia wrote, directed and co-stars in the new film, 'Don't Think Twice.' It's about an improv comedy group, and what happens when one member gets a job on a popular TV sketch comedy show, and how the group splinters. Also, Lloyd Schwartz discusses the exhibit at the Met Breuer Museum, 'Unfinished: Thoughts Left Visible.'

Jul 18, 2016

Author Cathleen Schine says that living far away from an elderly parent can create feelings of guilt as well as those of relief. Her darkly comic novel is 'They May Not Mean To, But They Do.' John Powers reviews 'Zero Days,' a chilling new documentary by Alex Gibney. Jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews Dan Cray's new album 'Outside In.'

Jul 16, 2016

Christopher Eccleston, who co-starred in 'The Leftovers' on HBO, plays a grandfather who struggles to relate to his autistic grandson on the BBC drama series 'The A Word.' The actor talks about Brexit, faith, and his father's dementia. Book critic Maureen Corrigan reviews 'Underground Airlines.'  Also, comedy writer Jessi Klein ('Inside Amy Schumer') talks about competition among women, what she calls the "thong industrial complex," and having to pump breast milk at the Emmys. Her new book of essays is 'You'll Grow Out Of It.'

Jul 15, 2016

The lead singer and a guitarist of Alabama Shakes was raised on her father's junkyard in the woods of Athens, Alabama. She reflects on small town life and big-time music. The band's second album 'Sound & Color' was nominated for six Grammys. [Originally aired Jan. 2016] Film critic David Edelstein reviews the 'Ghostbusters' reboot.

Jul 14, 2016

Marine ecologist Dr. Neil Hammerschlag has looked inside the mouth of a wild tiger shark and lived to tell the tale. He says that sharks pose only a small risk to people: "Humans are not on the shark's menu." Also, opera percussionist Patti Niemi talks about her journey from Juilliard to the orchestra pit, and her struggles with anxiety and OCD.

Jul 13, 2016

Rachel Starnes, writer and wife of a Navy pilot, talks about the impact of her husband's long and frequent absences, and how her marriage compares to the feminist ideal she had envisioned. Her memoir is, 'The War At Home: A Wife's Search for Peace (and Other Missions Impossible).' Maureen Corrigan reviews short story collection, 'The Dream Life of Astronauts.'

Jul 12, 2016

Jessi Klein is best known for her work as head writer for 'Inside Amy Schumer' and her stand-up. Now she's got a book of personal essays called 'You'll Grow Out Of It.' She talks to Terry Gross about the competition among women, what she calls the "thong industrial complex," and having to pump breast milk at the Emmys. Rock critic Ken Tucker reviews 'Puberty 2' from singer-songwriter Mitski.

Jul 11, 2016

Eccleston, who co-starred in 'The Leftovers' on HBO, plays a grandfather who struggles to relate to his autistic grandson on the BBC drama series 'The A Word.' The actor talks about Brexit, faith, and his father's dementia. John Powers reviews two novels from Mexico, 'Among Strange Victims,' and 'The Transmigration of Bodies.'

Jul 9, 2016

Journalist Larry Tye talks about Robert F. Kennedy's transformation from stalwart anti-communist to liberal icon.  Tye's new biography of Kennedy includes new insights on the early part of Kennedy's career when he worked for Joe McCarthy.  Jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews Allen Toussaint's final recording and journalist Maia Szalavitz talks about new ways of understanding and treating addiction. Her book, 'Unbroken Brain,' is based on research as well as personal experience; Szalavitz was addicted to cocaine and heroin from the age of 17 until she was 23.

Jul 8, 2016

Jim Gaffigan talks about his TV Land series 'The Jim Gaffigan Show,' now in its second season, in which he plays a comic, who like himself, has a wife and five children, doesn’t swear in his act, and is a Catholic. Fresh Air remembers Holocaust survivor, witness, writer and Nobel Peace Prize winner Elie Wiesel. He died last Saturday at the age of 87.  Also, David Edelstein reviews the new film 'Life, Imagined,' and TV critic David Bianculli reviews the new HBO series 'The Night Of.'

Jul 7, 2016

Tough love, interventions and 12-step programs are some of the most common methods of treating drug addiction, but journalist Maia Szalavitz says they're often counterproductive. In her new book, 'Unbroken Brain,' Szalavitz argues against the notion of "addictive personalities" and instead makes the case that addiction is similar to a learning disorder. Her book is based on research as well as personal experience; Szalavitz was addicted to cocaine and heroin from the age of 17 until she was 23. Also book critic Maureen Corrigan reviews 'Underground Airlines,' a new novel of alternate history by Ben H. Winters that imagines the Civil War never happened, and that slavery still exists in a few states.

 

 

Jul 6, 2016

'The Radio Adventures of Eleanor Amplified' is a new family-friendly podcast about an intrepid reporter (and radio host!) who foils devious plots and matches wits with cunning villains.  It was created by Fresh Air producer John Sheehan. Find it at: http://eleanoramplified.com

Jul 6, 2016

Warren Burger served as chief justice of the Supreme Court from 1969 until 1986. Linda Greenhouse, author of 'The Burger Court,' says those years helped establish the court's conservative legal foundation.  Fresh Air producer John Sheehan talks about creating "The Radio Adventures of Eleanor Amplified," a new adventure podcast for kids featuring an intrepid radio reporter who foils plots and outwits crafty villains.

Jul 5, 2016

Robert Kennedy’s political transformation is the focus of a new biography by journalist Larry Tye.  Kennedy began his career as an assistant counsel on Senator Joe McCarthy's sub-committee investigating communists. When Bobby Kennedy was assassinated in 1968, he was the liberal hopeful in the Democratic presidential primary. Larry Tye was given access to 58 boxes of private Kennedy papers, and interviewed 400 people, including Robert Kennedy's widow, Ethel Kennedy. 

Jul 4, 2016

Blake's songs are back on Broadway, in the adaptation of his 1921 show 'Shuffle Along.' It was an influential musical that was written and produced by African Americans and had an all African American cast. Our tribute features live performances of his songs and interviews with singer Vernel Bagneris, pianist Dick Hyman, theater historian Robert Kimball and historian David Levering Lewis. Originally broadcast in 1998.

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