Psychologist and journalist Lauren Slater, who suffers from depression and bipolar disorder, has first-hand experience with psychotropic drugs; she's been taking medication for 35 years. "As a nation, we're consuming them; we're gobbling them down," Slater tells Terry Gross. "And we don't really know what we're taking into our bodies." Her new book, in part about the science and history of mood-altering drugs, is titled 'Blue Dreams.' Also, Kevin Whitehead reviews two new compilations of Nina Simone's early singles.
Writer and cartoonist Tim Kreider admits unabashedly that the longest relationship of his adult life was with the stray cat that became his companion for 19 years. His new collection of personal essays details his many unconventional relationships, which include the girlfriend he traveled with on a circus train, a married woman he fell in love with and his whirlwind romance with a sexual performance artist. "One of the few conclusions I may have reached from writing this book is that when we say 'relationship' or 'marriage' we all think we're talking about the same thing," Kreider says. "But I think there are a lot of different deals out there." And Maureen Corrigan reviews the debut memoir by Matt Young, a combat veteran of the Iraq War, titled 'Eat the Apple.'
Growing up, Tara Westover had no birth certificate, never saw a doctor and didn't go to school. She writes about her trying transition into the mainstream in 'Educated: A Memoir.' Also, critic David Bianculli reviews BBC's nature documentary series 'Blue Planet II,' which he calls a "dazzling piece of television." And Richard Jenkins wasn't cast in a movie until he was in his 30s. Now 70, he's up for an Oscar for best supporting actor for his role in 'The Shape of Water.'
Lee Unkrich and Adrian Molina spent six years creating their Oscar-nominated animated film about the Day of the Dead. The movie is about how the dead remain alive in our hearts as long as we keep them in our memories and tell their stories. And critic David Bianculli reviews the BBC nature documentary series 'Blue Planet II,' which he calls a "dazzling piece of television."
New York Times reporter Scott Shane discusses special counsel Robert Mueller's indictment of 13 Russians who allegedly participated in a complex social media operation to undermine the 2016 election. And critic Ken Tucker reviews Brandi Carlile's new album 'By the Way, I Forgive You.'
Jenkins is nominated for an Oscar for his performance in Guillermo del Toro's latest film, which is about a mute woman who falls in love with a sea creature. The actor started his career on the stage, and didn't get a movie role until he was in his 30s. Also, jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews a box set of recordings of pianist Teddy Wilson with his various groups from the 1930s and '40s. And Justin Chang reviews the indie film 'Golden Exits.'
Growing up in rural Idaho, Tara Westover had no birth certificate, never saw a doctor and didn't go to school. Her deeply religious parents stockpiled food and weapons for a government invasion or the end of the world. In her new memoir, 'Educated,' Westover writes about how she defied her parents, and made her way to college and graduate school. Also, Maureen Corrigan reviews Zadie Smith's new essay collection 'Feel Free.'
'Mister Rogers' Neighborhood' had its first national broadcast on public television 50 years ago. TV critic David Bianculli has an appreciation. And we listen back to Rogers' interview with Terry Gross in 1984. Also, actor Doug Jones, who is a frequent collaborator of Guillermo del Toro's, tells Sam Briger about playing the fish man in the Oscar-nominated film 'The Shape of Water.'
Religion scholar Kate Bowler used to believe God had a plan for her life. Then, at 35, she was diagnosed with incurable stage-4 colon cancer. "I really had to rethink what trust and hope looks like," she says. Her new memoir is 'Everything Happens For A Reason (And Other Lies I've Loved).' Also, critic Ken Tucker reviews the 'Black Panther' soundtrack, which features Kendrick Lamar, The Weeknd, and SZA. And Finn Murphy has logged over a million miles hauling people's belongings across the country. His new memoir, 'The Long Haul,' is filled with insights about life on the road, and the subculture of truckers.
The real-life couple co-wrote the romantic comedy 'The Big Sick,' which stars Nanjiani, and is based on their own relationship. The movie is nominated for an Academy Award for best original screenplay. Also, we remember cabaret singer Wesla Whitfield, who died last week at the age of 70. She spoke with Terry Gross in 1988.
'New Yorker' staff writer Jonathan Blitzer says President Trump uses the notorious gang to paint a portrait of rampant criminality among immigrants — and "as a stand-in for immigrants generally." He also talks with Terry Gross about the uncertain fate of DACA, and the Senate debate on overhauling immigration policy. Also, David Edelstein reviews Marvel's new film 'Black Panther.'
Finn Murphy has logged over a million miles hauling people’s belongings across the country. His new memoir, ‘The Long Haul,’ is filled with insights about life on the road, and the subculture of truckers. Also, critic Ken Tucker reviews the ‘Black Panther’ soundtrack, which features Kendrick Lamar, The Weeknd, and SZA.
After chief strategist Steve Bannon was ousted from the Trump White House in August, Joshua Green was the first journalist he called. Green’s best-selling book about Bannon’s role in Trump’s election, ‘Devil’s Bargain,’ might’ve played a part in his exit. We talk with Green about what Bannon thinks of #MeToo, the future of the nationalist movement, and his eagerness to get back to the White House. Also, we remember Pakistani human rights lawyer Asma Jahangir, who died Sunday.
Religion scholar Kate Bowler used to believe God had a plan for her life. Then, at 35, she was diagnosed with incurable stage-4 colon cancer. “I really had to rethink what trust and hope looks like," she says. Her new memoir, ‘Everything Happens For A Reason (And Other Lies I’ve Loved),' is about how her illness has affected her faith.
Maggie O'Farrell has survived some terrifying episodes. Her new memoir, 'I Am, I Am, I Am,' details 17 near-death experiences, and what she's learned from them. Also, to mark Black History Month, Penguin Press is reprinting six books from the Harlem Renaissance. Maureen Corrigan has an appreciation. Comic Jordan Klepper got his big break as a comedian when he was hired to be a correspondent on 'The Daily Show' with Jon Stewart. Now he hosts his own show on Comedy Central called 'The Opposition.’ Klepper spoke with Terry Gross about how he modeled his character after right-wing conspiracy theorists like Alex Jones.
Mahoney, best-known for his role on the sitcom ‘Frasier,' died Sunday. He joined Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theatre shortly after he began acting at the age of 37. Mahoney spoke with Terry Gross in 1990. Also, we remember Internet pioneer (and Grateful Dead lyricist) John Perry Barlow. He spoke with Terry Gross in 1996. Film critic David Edelstein reviews the thriller ‘The 15:17 to Paris.’
Writer Robert Draper talks about state-of-the-art surveillance, from closed-circuit TV to drones -- and the consequences on our sense of privacy. Draper writes in 'National Geographic' that the proliferation of cameras focused on the public has led “to the point where we’re expecting to be voyeur and exhibitionist 24/7.”
Klepper got his big break as a comedian when he was hired to be a correspondent on 'The Daily Show' with Jon Stewart. Now he hosts his own show on Comedy Central called 'The Opposition.' "He creates his own reality," Klepper says of his character, who's modeled after far-right conspiracy theorists like Alex Jones. "He sees the two dots and he fills the spaces with the things that make him feel more comfortable." Also, Maureen Corrigan reviews the debut novel 'Self-Portrait with Boy' by Rachel Lyon.
Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Steve Coll warns that there is no end in sight to America's longest war: "Most of the generals ... say in public, 'There's no military solution to this war.'" His new book is ‘Directorate S: The C.I.A. and America’s Secret Wars in Afghanistan and Pakistan.’
Maggie O’Farrell has survived some terrifying episodes. She’s had a machete pressed to her throat during a robbery, once contracted amoebic dysentery while traveling, and nearly bled out while giving birth. Her new memoir ‘I Am, I Am, I Am,’ details 17 near-death experiences, and what she’s learned from them. Also, critic John Powers reviews the thriller novel ‘This is What Happened,’ and the German TV series ‘Babylon Berlin’ on Netflix.
Christian Picciolini spent eight years as a member of a violent, white power skinhead group. He eventually withdrew and co-founded a nonprofit to help extremists disengage. His new book is ‘White American Youth.’ Fresh Air also spoke with Patrice Banks about her new book, ‘Girls Auto Clinic Glove Box Guide.’ Banks left a six-figure salary as an engineer to pursue her dream of owning an auto shop. She went to technical school, worked for free, and in 2016 she opened Girls Auto Clinic. Her auto shop is staffed with women mechanics, and caters to female customers.
With the Academy Awards only a few weeks away, we’re revisiting Terry Gross’ interviews with filmmakers Greta Gerwig and Dee Rees. Gerwig, who co-wrote and starred in ‘Frances Ha’ and ‘Mistress America,’ makes her directorial debut with the film ‘Lady Bird.’ It’s about a high school senior preparing for college and trying to assert her independence from her mother. ‘Lady Bird’ has five Oscar nominations, including best picture and best director. Dee Rees’ film ‘Mudbound’ follows two families — one black and one white — just before, during and after WWII. Rees says the film was informed by her Nashville, Tenn., childhood. ‘Mudbound’ is nominated for four Oscars, including best adapted screenplay and cinematography. Critic Justin Chang reviews the Hungarian movie ‘On Body and Soul,’ which is nominated for best foreign language film.
Robert Mueller started as director of the FBI a week before the Sept. 11 attacks. We talk with journalist Garrett Graff about Mueller’s leadership style, his reputation in Washington, and what might happen to the current investigation of the Trump campaign if Mueller is fired as special counsel.
Investigative reporter Ronen Bergman says that while Israel's shootings, poisonings, bombings and drone strikes against its perceived enemies were "tactical successes," they were also diplomatically harmful. His book is ‘Rise and Kill First.’ Also, jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews guitarist Wes Montgomery’s 1965 Paris concert.
Journalist Glenn Frankel talks about a chapter of paranoia and persecution in America, in which the president, Congress, the courts and the press all played a part. Frankel's book is about the Hollywood Blacklist and the making of the classic film 'High Noon,' which was written as a parable about the blacklist. Also, to mark Black History Month, Penguin Press is reprinting six books from the Harlem Renaissance. Maureen Corrigan has an appreciation.