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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: September, 2017
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.’

Sep 20, 2017

Danielle Allen's memoir, ‘Cuz,’ centers on her cousin Michael, who was sentenced to a long prison term for carjacking when he was 15. Three years after his release, he was found shot to death in a parked car. Allen mourns the death of her cousin, and denounces the prison system in her new book. Maureen Corrigan reviews two novels, ‘Forest Dark’ and ‘Afterglow.’ And TV critic David Bianculli reviews Jerry Seinfeld’s new Netflix comedy special.

Sep 19, 2017

Journalists E.J. Dionne and Norm Ornstein believe the Trump presidency and this period of national soul-searching could lead to an era of Democratic renewal. Their new book (with Thomas Mann) is ‘One Nation After Trump.’ Rock critic Ken Tucker reviews ‘Tomorrow Forever’ by Matthew Sweet, and Lloyd Schwartz visits an art exhibit of paintings by Florine Stettheimer.

Sep 18, 2017

Clinton returns to 'Fresh Air' to talk about her loss to Donald Trump, former FBI Director James Comey, and whether she would question the legitimacy of the election if we learn about deeper Russian interference. "I wouldn't rule it out," Clinton says. Her new memoir is 'What Happened.' 

Sep 16, 2017

NBC reporter Katy Tur was at a rally in South Carolina when Trump called her name and pointed at her from the podium. Then, she says, "The entire place turns and they roar as one ... like a giant, unchained animal." Her new memoir about the campaign is 'Unbelievable.'  Book critic Maureen Corrigan reviews Claire Messud's new novel, 'The Burning Girl.’ Fred Hersch began his jazz career in the closet, but nearly 30 years ago, when people in the jazz world were afraid to come out, he identified himself as gay and HIV positive. Nine years ago he spent several weeks in a medically-induced coma; later he wrote songs inspired by his coma dreams. His memoir is 'Good Things Happen Slowly.' 

Sep 15, 2017

Springsteen spoke with Terry Gross last year about masculinity, New Jersey, and why he wishes he was his stage persona. His memoir ‘Born to Run’ is now out in paperback. Film critic David Edelstein reviews ‘Mother!’

Sep 14, 2017

Hersch began his jazz career in the closet, but nearly 30 years ago, when people in the jazz world were afraid to come out, he identified himself as gay and HIV positive. Nine years ago he spent several weeks in a medically-induced coma; later he wrote songs inspired by his coma dreams. His memoir is ‘Good Things Happen Slowly.’ TV critic David Bianculli reviews the new Ken Burns documentary series on the Vietnam War.

Sep 13, 2017

'New Yorker' writer Evan Osnos visited North Korea in August to understand what they really mean when they talk about nuclear war. He found that nuclear weapons are an essential part of their society.

Sep 12, 2017

Tur was at a rally in South Carolina when Trump called her name and pointed at her from the podium. Then, she says, "The entire place turns and they roar as one ... like a giant, unchained animal." Her new memoir about the campaign is ‘Unbelievable.’ Book critic Maureen Corrigan reviews Claire Messud’s new novel, ‘The Burning Girl.’

Sep 11, 2017

Five days after the Sept. 11 attacks, while working at ground zero, an 8,000 lb. piece of steel fell on Feal’s foot, crushing it. He became septic and almost died. Feal turned to activism when he was denied medical compensation by the government, and successfully lobbied for the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act for other first responders. “About 2,000 people have died because of their illnesses,” Feal says. “They too are heroes.”

Sep 9, 2017

Bestselling novelist John Le Carré is familiar with the moral tension inherent to working in the espionage community. “I felt I had to suppress my humanity," Le Carré says of his time as a spy. His new book is 'A Legacy of Spies.' In Mike White's new film, ‘Brad’s Status,’ a father starts to experience status anxiety while taking his son on a college tour. White says it's a universal situation, "but it's definitely a waste of time and energy."

Sep 8, 2017

Adlon's FX series (which she co-created with Louis C.K.) is based on her own experience raising three girls as a single mom. The new season starts September 14. Also, John Powers reviews the new season of ‘Top of the Lake,’ and film critic Justin Chang reviews ‘The Unknown Girl.’

Sep 7, 2017

In White’s new film, a father starts to experience status anxiety while taking his son on a college tour. White says it’s a universal situation, “but it's definitely a waste of time and energy.” Also, TV critic David Bianculli reviews HBO’s ‘The Deuce’ and the new season of ’Twin Peaks.’

Sep 6, 2017

Wainwright 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.’

Sep 5, 2017

The 85-year-old novelist is familiar with the moral tension inherent to working in the espionage community: "I felt I had to suppress my humanity," Le Carre says of his time as a spy. His new book is ‘A Legacy of Spies.’

Sep 4, 2017

The British singer-songwriter writes about skiffle, a music movement inspired by American roots music, in his new book 'Roots, Radicals and Rockers.' He brings his guitar to the studio to play skiffle and some of his own songs.

Sep 2, 2017

This past week we marked our 30th anniversary as a daily NPR program. Here are some highlights from that retrospective. Theater legend Elia Kazan tells us about directing Marlon Brando in ‘A Streetcar Named Desire.’ Ronnie Spector was the lead of the '60s girl group The Ronettes, and talks about recording her mega-hit “Be My Baby” with Phil Spector. Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist John Updike talks about how having psoriasis affected him as a writer.

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