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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: 11 min 3 sec ago

Searching For Meaning After A Jewish Cemetery Is Desecrated

Thu, 03/16/2017 - 10:41am

As a child, author Daniel Torday visited desecrated Jewish grave sites in Europe. But recently the vandalism occurred closer to home, at a Jewish cemetery in his hometown of Philadelphia.

(Image credit: Jacqueline Larma/AP)

'Get Out' Sprung From An Effort To Master Fear, Says Director Jordan Peele

Wed, 03/15/2017 - 11:59am

As a kid, Peele was terrified of "the demons that lurked in the dark." Then he realized that by making a horror-thriller, he "would be wielding this power, as opposed to being a victim to it."

(Image credit: Rich Fury/Invision/AP)

A Front-Line View Of ISIS At War: 'They're Not Backing Down'

Tue, 03/14/2017 - 12:17pm

New York Times reporter Rukmini Callimachi was recently embedded with Iraqi troops fighting to liberate western Mosul from ISIS. She reports that the Islamic State looks "more fierce than ever."

Frank Carlberg's Big Band Takes Extended Flights On Familiar Monk Themes

Mon, 03/13/2017 - 12:54pm

Monk Dreams, Hallucinations and Nightmares, by the Finish-born pianist and composer, is a meditation on Thelonious Monk's "odd but catchy melodies," says jazz critic Kevin Whitehead.

Refugees Are Turned Back And A Rembrandt Goes Missing In Suspenseful 'Heretics'

Mon, 03/13/2017 - 12:54pm

Leonardo Padura's new novel opens in 1939, when a ship carrying Jewish refugees is turned away from Cuba. Critic Maureen Corrigan says Heretics "spans and defies literary categories."

(Image credit: NPR)

'Irresistible' By Design: It's No Accident You Can't Stop Looking At The Screen

Mon, 03/13/2017 - 12:46pm

Technology is designed to be addictive, offering gratification that's similar to that of drug abuse or gambling. Author Adam Alter says a new frontier could soon provide another escape from reality.

(Image credit: filo/Getty Images)

Fresh Air Weekend: Samantha Bee; 'Personal Shopper'; Novelist Mohsin Hamid

Sat, 03/11/2017 - 10:44am

For Bee and her Full Frontal co-creator, Trump's election meant doubling down on their White House coverage. Justin Chang reviews Personal Shopper. Hamid discusses his novel Exit West.

(Image credit: Myles Aronowitz/TBS)

In Many Ways, Author Says, Spanish Civil War Was 'The First Battle Of WWII'

Fri, 03/10/2017 - 12:23pm

Adam Hochschild says American involvement in the Spanish Civil War resulted in Americans being bombed by Nazis years before the U.S. entered World War II. Originally published March 28, 2018.

'Sense Of An Ending' Lacks The Punch Of The Prize-Winning Novel It's Based On

Fri, 03/10/2017 - 12:23pm

The film tells the story of an emotionally shut-down man who gradually learns that the events of his past are not as he remembers. David Edelstein says the movie, unlike the book, is a "non-event."

What Is Steve Bannon And Jeff Sessions' Shared Vision For Remaking America?

Thu, 03/09/2017 - 12:58pm

Journalist Emily Bazelon says the relationship between Bannon and Sessions predates the 2016 campaign, and that their anti-immigration policies come from fears of a growing minority population.

Remembering Dutch Jazz Pianist And Composer Misha Mengelberg

Wed, 03/08/2017 - 1:00pm

Jazz critic Kevin Whitehead remembers Mengelberg, who died Friday, as a "musical anarchist" who taught classical counterpoint and wrote dozens of catchy melodies.

From Refugees To Politics, Mohsin Hamid Writes The Change He Wants To See

Wed, 03/08/2017 - 1:00pm

"All of us who are writers are doing something that actually matters," Hamid says. His latest novel, Exit West, follows a couple who have to decide whether to flee their homeland.

(Image credit: Jillian Edelstein/Camera Press)

Cold War Spy Series 'The Americans' Taps Into Today's Concerns About Russia

Tue, 03/07/2017 - 1:16pm

TV critic David Bianculli says the new season of the spy series about Soviet sleeper agents in Virginia has unexpected resonance given today's headlines: "The Americans deserves your attention now."

(Image credit: Matthias Clamer/FX)

Author Says Hitler Was 'Blitzed' On Cocaine And Opiates During The War

Tue, 03/07/2017 - 1:03pm

Author Norman Ohler says that Hitler's drug abuse increased "significantly" from the fall of 1941 until winter of 1944: "Hitler needed those highs to substitute [for] his natural charisma."

(Image credit: Keystone/Getty Images)

The xx Mix Atmospheric Pop And Warm Soulfulness On 'I See You'

Mon, 03/06/2017 - 12:59pm

Critic Ken Tucker reviews the British group The xx's third album. "Beneath its sleek beauty, there's a fresh joyousness ... that at its best is something close to inspirational," he says of I See You.

Samantha Bee On Trump's Win: 'I Could Feel This Seismic Shift'

Mon, 03/06/2017 - 12:58pm

For Bee and her Full Frontal co-creator, Trump's election meant doubling down on their White House coverage, much to their chagrin. "There were so many other things we wanted to cover," she says.

(Image credit: Myles Aronowitz/TBS)

Fresh Air Weekend: Women In Combat; 'Bette And Joan'; 'The Photo Ark'

Sat, 03/04/2017 - 8:00am

Maj. Mary Jennings Hegar discusses her memoir, Shoot Like a Girl. David Bianculli says Bette and Joan is "wickedly funny." Joel Sartore talks about his effort to photograph 12,000 animal species.

(Image credit: Penguin Group USA)

The X-Men Franchise Takes An Intense, Scorched-Earth Turn With 'Logan'

Fri, 03/03/2017 - 12:31pm

Major characters go down in showers of blood and gore in the latest stand-alone Wolverine film. Critic David Edelstein says that Logan is an "incredibly bleak ... crackerjack piece of work."

Comic Louie Anderson Modeled His 'Baskets' Role After His Own Mom

Fri, 03/03/2017 - 12:21pm

Anderson delivers a standout performance as the mother of an embittered rodeo clown in Baskets, which is now in its second season. Originally published March 2, 2016.

'Bette And Joan' Reveals The Electric Personalities Behind 'Baby Jane'

Fri, 03/03/2017 - 7:39am

The new FX anthology series Feud dramatizes memorable conflicts in history. David Bianculli says the opening miniseries, which focuses on Bette Davis and Joan Crawford, is a "wickedly clever comedy."

(Image credit: Kurt Iswarienko/FX)

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