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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: 2017
Jul 21, 2017

As a self-described "awkward black girl," Rae says she often felt that she was straddling two worlds growing up. She drew on her own experiences to create the HBO series ‘Insecure,’ now beginning its second season. Also, we listen back to a 1988 interview with ‘Night of the Living Dead’ director George Romero. He died Sunday at 77. Film critic David Edelstein reviews ‘Dunkirk.’

Jul 20, 2017

Journalist Kim Zetter has been writing about cybersecurity and the integrity of our voting systems for more than a decade. Zetter talks about how election security has already been breached, and what kind of hack could happen next. Also, we remember Oscar-winning actor Martin Landau. He spoke with Terry Gross in 1990. Book critic Maureen Corrigan recommends two comic novels.

Jul 19, 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.

Jul 18, 2017

Author Joshua Green says that although Steve Bannon was instrumental to Donald Trump's election, it now appears that the president lacks the ability to implement Bannon's nationalist vision. Green’s new book is ‘Devil’s Bargain.’ Also, critic Lloyd Schwartz shares an appreciation of playwright Samuel Beckett’s short silent film ‘Film,’ starring Buster Keaton.

Jul 17, 2017

James Forman Jr., son of civil rights activists, says that African-American leaders seeking to combat drugs and crime often supported policies that disproportionately targeted the black community. His book is ‘Locking Up Our Own.’ Also, critic John Powers reviews the novel ‘Beautiful Animals’ by Lawrence Osborne.

Jul 15, 2017

Comic Kumail Nanjiani remembers the first time he thought of marrying then-girlfriend Emily V. Gordon: when he saw her in a coma. Now the couple has co-written a romantic comedy based on their story called ‘The Big Sick.’

Wendy Whelan, a ballerina with the New York City Ballet, feared she would never dance again after undergoing hip surgery when she was 46. But after reconstructive surgery and months of physical therapy, she briefly returned to the dance company that had been her home for 30 years. The new documentary 'Restless Creature' focuses on that period, when her identity was shattered

Jul 14, 2017

Klein won an Emmy for her work on ‘Inside Amy Schumer.’ Her book, ‘You'll Grow Out of It,’ a collection of humorous personal essays. [Originally broadcast July 2016.] 50 years ago, singer-songwriter Bobbie Gentry released “Ode to Billie Joe,” which prompted dozens of jazz versions. Kevin Whitehead shares a few. Also, film critic David Edelstein reviews 'Lady MacBeth.'

Jul 13, 2017

Roger Stone, one of Donald Trump’s closest political advisers, is a colorful operative who has been accused of dirty tricks and disinformation for decades. Stone tried to convince Trump to run for president for close to 30 years. We talk with Morgan Pehme, co-director of the new Netflix documentary ‘Get Me Roger Stone.’  Also, film critic Justin Chang reviews ‘War For the Planet of the Apes.’

Jul 12, 2017

Comic Kumail Nanjiani remembers the first time he thought of marrying then-girlfriend Emily V. Gordon: when he saw her in a coma. Now the couple has co-written a romantic comedy based on their story called ‘The Big Sick.’

Jul 11, 2017

Only one corporate executive was convicted after the financial meltdown of 2008. Pulitzer Prize-winning ‘ProPublica’ reporter Jesse Eisinger’s new book ‘The Chickens*** Club’ is about why the Department of Justice reaches settlements with banks and corporations and fails to prosecute executives. Also, commentator Mat Johnson shares a story about losing his hard drive.

Jul 10, 2017

Wendy Whelan retired from the New York City Ballet at the age of 47, after a hip injury. She wasn’t sure she’d ever dance again, but after reconstructive surgery and months of physical therapy, she briefly returned to the dance company that had been her home for 30 years. The new documentary ‘Restless Creature’ focuses on that period, when her identity was shattered. Also, book critic Maureen Corrigan reviews the novel ’Golden Hill.'

Jul 8, 2017

"Professional Muslim" Haroon Moghul says, "Every time something bad happens you're called upon to apologize. ... Your entire identity is pegged to events in other parts of the world." His new book 'How to Be a Muslim' is about his experience as a first-generation Pakistani-American.  Ken Tucker reviews an album of new material from late rock icon Chuck Berry. In protest of Saudi Arabia's de facto ban on women driving, Manal al-Sharif filmed herself driving and posted it on YouTube. She was arrested, but after expressions of outrage from around the world, she was eventually released. Her new memoir is ’Daring to Drive.’

Jul 7, 2017

Safran Foer’s most recent novel, 'Here I Am,' is told from the points of view of different members of a Jewish family. The book is now out in paperback. Also, film critic David Edelstein reviews 'Spider-Man: Homecoming.'

Jul 6, 2017

"Professional Muslim" Haroon Moghul says, "Every time something bad happens you're called upon to apologize. ... Your entire identity is pegged to events in other parts of the world."  His new book ‘How to Be a Muslim’ is about his experience as a first-generation Pakistani-American, being diagnosed with bipolar disorder, and building the Islamic Center at NYU. Also, Ken Tucker reviews a new album from Swedish singer-songwriter Jens Lekman.

Jul 5, 2017

Author Rick Wartzman says that jobs offering security, decent wages and good benefits are becoming harder to find, in part because of automation, globalization, and the weakening of unions. His book is ‘The End of Loyalty.’ Also, Sharon Horgan, co-creator and co-star of the Amazon comedy series ‘Catastrophe’ talks with ‘Fresh Air’ producer Ann Marie Baldonado about finding her comedy partner Rob Delaney on Twitter, her confessional approach to writing, and working with the late Carrie Fisher.

Jul 4, 2017

Producer Giles Martin says he included the Beatles' outtakes and raw performances in the new box set to show "how human the making of Sgt. Pepper was." The original album was produced by Martin's father, George, 50 years ago.

Jul 3, 2017

Giddens sings songs from her new album, 'Freedom Highway.' She co-founded the Carolina Chocolate Drops, which plays string band music from the African American tradition. Book critic Maureen Corrigan reviews ‘Modern Gods’ by Nick Laird.

Jul 1, 2017

In 'The Best Land Under Heaven,' Michael Wallis chronicles the saga of a band of pioneers who resorted to cannibalism after getting stranded en route West. Also, film critic Justin Chang reviews 'Okja,' now on Netflix. Also, 'Washington Post' correspondent Souad Mekhennet talks about how she's spent much of the past 15 years reporting on Islamic extremist groups. She's interviewed leaders of Al Qaeda, the Taliban and ISIS. Her new memoir is 'I Was Told to Come Alone.'

Jun 30, 2017

After starring in Broadway shows like ‘The Music Man’ and ‘Candide,’ Cook struggled with addiction, then staged a successful second career as a cabaret singer. Her memoir is ‘Then and Now’ is out in paperback. Jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews Tony Allen’s tribute to drummer Art Blakey.

Jun 29, 2017

West Virginia has the highest drug overdose death rate in the country. ‘New Yorker’ writer Margaret Talbot interviewed addicts, their families, and health professionals to understand why. Also, actor Sam Elliott (Tombstone, Road House, The Big Lebowski) says that being cautious about the roles he takes has helped him maintain his acting career for nearly 50 years. He plays an aging actor with a stalled career in the new film, ‘The Hero.’

Jun 28, 2017

'Vox' correspondent Sarah Kliff says Republicans determined to replace and repeal Obamacare are finding it's "awfully difficult to write a bill that would get rid of it entirely." Also, David Edelstein reviews ‘Baby Driver,’ a film by Edgar Wright.

Jun 27, 2017

In ‘The Best Land Under Heaven,’ Michael Wallis chronicles the saga of a band of pioneers who resorted to cannibalism after getting stranded en route West. He says "there's so much more" to the story.  Also, film critic Justin Chang reviews ‘Okja,’ coming to Netflix this week.

Jun 26, 2017

Author James Ledbetter says many of the nation's worst economic catastrophes happened while on the gold standard. His new book traces the fascination with gold as a symbol of permanence and quality. His book is ‘One Nation Under Gold.’ Also, jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews Sexmob’s album ’Cultural Capital.’

Jun 24, 2017

Roxane Gay has finally written the book that she "wanted to write the least." Gay’s new memoir, ‘Hunger,’ is about being hundreds of pounds overweight, and how she first started gaining weight after being sexually assaulted when she was 12. Also, Sherman Alexie discusses his new memoir about growing up on the Spokane Indian Reservation in Washington, where poverty and violence were routine. His new book is ‘You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me.’

Jun 23, 2017

Cline's ‘Lovers’ is a collection of lushly arranged versions of American popular songs, covers and originals. He says it's a "mood-music record" that isn't "cheesy." [Originally broadcast Sept. 2016.] Ken Tucker reviews an album of new material from late rock icon Chuck Berry. David Edelstein reviews Sofia Coppola’s film ‘The Beguiled.’

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