Russell T. Davies, creator of the BBC series 'Queer As Folk,' talks about his new series 'Cucumber' and 'Banana.' Rock historian Ed Ward tells the story of Captain Beefheart and New Yorker cartoonist and 'Girls' producer Bruce Eric Kaplan (aka BEK) discusses his new illustrated memoir 'I Was A Child.'
Hilary Mantel is the first woman to win the Man Booker Prize twice, first for her 2009 novel, 'Wolf Hall,' and also for its 2012 sequel, 'Bring Up the Bodies.' She spoke to Terry Gross in 2012. 'Wolf Hall' is now a PBS Masterpiece costume drama airing Sunday April 5th. John Powers, our critic at large, reviews the new TV production.
Bruce Eric Kaplan (aka BEK) has a new illustrated memoir called 'I Was A Child.' It describes his life in Maplewood, N.J., in the '60s and '70s. He says it's a way of keeping his parents alive, "not just for me, but for the world." He's also a producer on the HBO series 'Girls.' Then we remember Cynthia Lennon, Beatle John Lennon's first wife. She died yesterday at 75.
'Cucumber' tells the adventures of a middle-aged gay man; 'Banana' is a series of short stories. Russell T. Davies, who made 'Queer As Folk,' says the titles came from a scientific institute in Switzerland. TV critic David Bianculli reviews the HBO documentary on Frank Sinatra and Milo Miles reviews a latin groove anthology.
Mixing judges with campaign contributions can lead to conflicts of interest. Fresh Air talks to retired Judge Sue Bell Cobb and the Center for American Progress' Billy Corriher. Rock historian Ed Ward tells the story of Captain Beefheart.
Kevin Kruse discusses his book, 'One Nation Under God: How Corporate American Invented Christian America.' Maureen Corrigan reviews 'Poetry Notebook,' a book of criticism by Clive James. Jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews saxophonist Art Pepper's live recordings.
'Justified' creator Graham Yost talks about finishing up the sixth and final season and staying true to writer Elmore Leonard's vision. Ken Tucker reviews Courtney Barnett's album 'Sometimes I Sit and Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit.' 'American Crime' revolves round a murder case and is an examination of race, ethnicity and the criminal justice system. Nearly all the characters are part victim and part aggressor. Creator John Ridley (Screenwriter, 12 Years a Slave) and actor Benito Martinez (The Shield) explain.
In 'The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer,' Siddhartha Mukherjee chronicled how our understanding of cancer has evolved. Starting Monday, Ken Burns' three-part documentary will air on PBS. Terry Gross talked with Mukherjee in 2010. Film critic David Edelstein reviews Noah Baumbach's new film, 'While We're Young.'
Graham Yost, creator and showrunner of the FX series 'Justified,' talks about staying true to Elmore Leonard's vision. Ken Tucker reviews Courtney Barnett's album 'Sometimes I Sit and Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit.'
When Ted Cruz announced his presidency, he said: "It's time to reclaim the constitution." The New Yorker's Jeffrey Toobin discusses the strict legal philosophy that has shaped Cruz's political agenda. Book critic Maureen Corrigan reviews 'American Ghost.'
The show, revolving around a murder case, is an examination of race, ethnicity and the criminal justice system. Nearly all the characters are part victim and part aggressor. Creator John Ridley (Screenwriter, 12 Years a Slave) and actor Benito Martinez (The Shield) explain. David Bianculli gives us his first impressions of late night's James Corden.
Former killer whale trainer, John Hargrove, explains why he left the business in his new book, 'Beneath The Surface.' Two SeaWorld executives defend their practices.
Daniel Genis, son of Soviet emigre writer Alexander Genis, served 10 years for armed robbery. The crimes fueled his heroin addiction. He shares stories from life in prison. John Powers reviews 'Seymour: An Introduction' about Seymour Bernstein, who quit a successful concert career at the age of 50 to become a piano teacher. Bluegrass musician Norman Blake has performed for more than 60 years. He was in Johnny Cash's band and played on Bob Dylan's 'Nashville Skyline' album. Now 77, his new album is called 'Wood, Wire and Words.'
Samuel Charters helped ignite the blues revival of the '50s and '60s. He made field recordings of forgotten and previously undiscovered performers. He also wrote two books. He died Wednesday; he was 85. Phil Klay served in Iraq from January 2007 to February 2008. He recently won a National Book Critics Circle award for his collection of short stories, 'Redeployment.' John Powers reviews 'Seymour: An Introduction,' an inspiring new documentary by the actor Ethan Hawke.
Blake has performed for more than 60 years. He was in Johnny Cash's band and played on Bob Dylan's 'Nashville Skyline' album. Now 77, his new album is called 'Wood, Wire and Words.' John Powers reviews 'A Little Life,' a novel by Hanya Yanagihara.
Daniel Genis, son of Soviet emigre writer Alexander Genis, served 10 years for armed robbery. The crimes fueled his heroin addiction. "It was so obvious I didn't fit in," he says. Kevin Whitehead says saxophonist Tony Malaby's new quartet brings out his rowdy side.
In Dan Torday's 'The Last Flight of Poxl West,' a Jewish refugee tells his heroic World War II story in a best-selling -- and partly fabricated -- memoir. Classical music critic Lloyd Schwartz says one company in France is remastering old records in a revolutionary way. TV critic David Bianculli addresses the downside of binge watching.
In his new memoir, Frank describes how early in politics he feared people would "draw inferences" that he was gay if he supported gay rights. But his drive to fight discrimination was stronger. Ken Tucker reviews Brandi Carlile's album 'The Firewatcher's Daughter.'
Actor Jonathan Banks and writer/co-creator Peter Gould discuss 'Better Call Saul,' the prequel spin-off of 'Breaking Bad.' Ken Tucker reviews James McMurtry's album 'Complicated Game,' and America's Test Kitchen shares their tricks for more flavorful vegetarian dishes.
Songwriters Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil have been a team (and husband and wife) for more than 50 years. Terry spoke to them in 2000 when they were portrayed in the Broadway musical 'Beautiful.' Drummer Hal Blaine of 'The Wrecking Crew' was featured on thousands of records and over 40 number one hits. A new documentary tells the story of the Crew's success. David Edelstein reviews the independent horror film 'It Follows.'
Fenton Johnson says that while alone, people can "find the richest possible ways of being in the world." He's lived alone for more than 20 years. His Harper's article describes his pursuit in solitude. Maureen Corrigan reviews two memoirs. Historian Lee Jackson talks about the filth of Victorian-era London. Linguist Geoff Nunberg tells us about one Wikipedia editor who has decided to eliminate the phrase “comprised of" from thousands of entries.
Author George Hodgman talks about leaving his home in Manhattan to take care of his 91 year old mother in his hometown, Paris, Missouri. His new memoir is called 'Bettyville.' Also rock historian Ed Ward tells us the story of The Hollies.
Jack Bishop and Bridget Lancaster of America's Test Kitchen share their favorite vegetarian recipes. Also we remember documentary filmmaker Albert Maysles.
The new show's co-creator says it became a writer's room joke on 'Breaking Bad' that if something didn't fit it would go on the Saul Goodman show, or what is now AMC's 'Better Call Saul.' Ken Tucker reviews 'Complicated Game' by James McMurtry.