Fresh Air

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Hosted by Terry Gross, Fresh Air from WHYY is the Peabody Award-winning weekday magazine of contemporary arts and issues. One of public radio's most popular programs, Fresh Air features intimate conversations with today's biggest luminaries.
Updated: 1 hour 23 min ago

Tense, Moody 'Golden Exits' Finds Drama In Everyday Gossip And Betrayal

Wed, 02/21/2018 - 1:07pm

Reviewer Justin Chang says "not much happens — and yet everything seems to be at stake" in Alex Ross Perry's film about six moderately unhappy Brooklynites and the visitor who interrupts their lives.

New Box Set Showcases The Reserved Style Of The Late Jazz Pianist Teddy Wilson

Wed, 02/21/2018 - 1:07pm

Wilson became famous in the 1930s, playing in Benny Goodman's small groups and recording his own combo sides with a young Billie Holiday. A new collection reveals what else Wilson was up to back then.

Actor Richard Jenkins: Reading 'Shape Of Water' Script Was A 'Holy Mackerel' Moment

Wed, 02/21/2018 - 1:07pm

Jenkins started out in theater and didn't get a movie role 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.

Zadie Smith Ruminates On Brexit, Bieber And Much, Much More In 'Feel Free'

Tue, 02/20/2018 - 1:36pm

Smith's massive new essay collection covers a wide assortment of topics, but critic Maureen Corrigan says Feel Free is strongest when it focuses on art and identity.

(Image credit: Eslah Attar/NPR)

Memoirist Retraces Her Journey From Survivalist Childhood To Cambridge Ph.D.

Tue, 02/20/2018 - 12:07pm

Growing up, Tara Westover had no birth certificate, never saw a doctor and didn't go to school. She writes about her awkward transition into the mainstream in Educated: A Memoir.

(Image credit: Paul Stuart /Random House)

'Shape Of Water' Actor Explains Makeup, Body Language And Bathroom Breaks

Mon, 02/19/2018 - 11:00am

Doug Jones has made a career out of playing strange, otherworldly creatures. "I find the heart and soul of a character before I find his elbows and his hands," he says.

(Image credit: Courtesy of Fox Searchlight/Twentieth Century Fox)

It's A Beautiful 50th Birthday For 'Mister Rogers' Neighborhood'

Mon, 02/19/2018 - 11:00am

Fred Rogers debuted on national public television in 1968 and quickly became known for his deliberate manner of relating to children. "Every one of us longs to be in touch with honesty," he once said.

(Image credit: Gene J. Puskar/AP)

Fresh Air Weekend: Living With Incurable Stage-4 Cancer; Life As A Long Haul Trucker

Sat, 02/17/2018 - 8:00am

Religion scholar Kate Bowler talks about battling incurable colon cancer. Critic Ken Tucker reviews the Black Panther soundtrack. Trucker Finn Murphy has logged more than a million miles on the road.

(Image credit: Emily Bogle/NPR)

Remembering Cabaret Star Wesla Whitfield

Fri, 02/16/2018 - 2:00pm

Whitfield, who died Feb. 9, started in the San Francisco Opera in the 1970s before moving on to piano bars. She later performed regularly at New York's Algonquin Hotel. Originally broadcast in 1988.

How A Medically Induced Coma Led To Love, Marriage And The Oscar-Nominated 'Big Sick'

Fri, 02/16/2018 - 2:00pm

Comic Kumail Nanjiani didn't think of marrying then-girlfriend Emily V. Gordon until he saw her in a coma. The couple co-wrote a romantic comedy based on the story. Originally broadcast July 12, 2017.

Mythic 'Black Panther' Is A Momentous Event In Pop Culture History

Thu, 02/15/2018 - 1:25pm

As originally conceived in 1966, the Black Panther was an African king who fought crime in a high-tech panther suit. David Edelstein says Marvel's new film about the character was worth the wait.

Trump Uses MS-13 To 'Sell Draconian Overhauls Of Border Issues,' Journalist Says

Thu, 02/15/2018 - 1:25pm

New Yorker writer Jonathan Blitzer says President Trump uses the notorious gang to paint a portrait of rampant criminality among immigrants — and to frame the broader immigration debate.

Long Haul Trucker Was 'Completely Seduced' By The Open Road

Wed, 02/14/2018 - 1:00pm

Finn Murphy has logged over a million miles hauling people's belongings across the country to their new homes. He describes life on the road as a "reaction against regimentation."

Kendrick Lamar Channels A Superhero's Conflicts And Strength On 'Black Panther'

Wed, 02/14/2018 - 1:00pm

Lamar plays a prominent role on the soundtrack for the new Marvel film. Critic Ken Tucker says the songs on Black Panther are are shrewd, passionate and "almost ridiculously entertaining."

Remembering Pakistani Activist And Human Rights Lawyer Asma Jahangir

Tue, 02/13/2018 - 1:20pm

Once known as "Pakistan's bravest citizen," Jahangir, who died Sunday, co-founded the country's first all-women's law firm and pushed for women's rights and democracy. Originally broadcast in 2001.

Steve Bannon Sees #MeToo As An 'Existential Threat' To Trump, Journalist Says

Tue, 02/13/2018 - 12:36pm

Journalist Joshua Green describes the right-wing provocateur as a "very shrewd analyst of American politics." Right now, Green says, Bannon is particularly attuned to the #MeToo movement.

(Image credit: Brynn Anderson/AP)

A Stage-4 Cancer Patient Shares The Pain And Clarity Of Living 'Scan-To-Scan'

Mon, 02/12/2018 - 1:05pm

Religion scholar Kate Bowler used to believe God had a plan for her life. Then she was diagnosed with incurable colon cancer. "I really had to rethink what trust and hope looks like," she says.

Fresh Air Weekend: 17 Brushes With Death; 3 Harlem Renaissance Novels; Jordan Klepper

Sat, 02/10/2018 - 8:00am

Maggie O'Farrell recounts the multiple times she cheated death. Maureen Corrigan reviews a reprinting of work from the Harlem Renaissance. Klepper assumes an anti-fact persona on The Opposition.

(Image credit: Eslah Attar/NPR)

In 'POST-', Avowed Pessimist Jeff Rosenstock Surrenders To Creative Optimism

Fri, 02/09/2018 - 3:04pm

Critic Ken Tucker says he former ska/punk musician's new record is filled with "angry confusion," but Rosenstock also reveals himself as a singer-songwriter with a gift for delicate melodies.

Clint Eastwood Celebrates Old-Fashioned Heroism In 'The 15:17 To Paris'

Fri, 02/09/2018 - 3:04pm

In 2015, three Americans on a Paris-bound train stopped a terrorist attack in progress. Eastwood recreates the incident — and audaciously casts the real-life heroes as themselves — in his new film.

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