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: 32 min 24 sec ago

Why Pius IX Might Be The 'Most Important Pope' In Modern Church History

Tue, 04/24/2018 - 1:20pm

Pius IX became head of the Catholic church in 1846 and instituted the doctrine of Papal infallibility. Pulitzer Prize-winning author David Kertzer says his exile led to the emergence of modern Italy.

'Zama' Offers A Withering Critique Of Colonialism From Within

Tue, 04/24/2018 - 11:45am

Lucrecia Martel's latest film centers on a frustrated Spanish official who is stationed at a remote outpost in South America in 1790. Critic Justin Chang calls Zama "feverishly brilliant."

(Image credit: Strand Releasing )

Pulitzer Prize-Winning Poet Reflects On 'Ambition And Manhood In America'

Mon, 04/23/2018 - 1:26pm

Gregory Pardlo's new memoir, Air Traffic, chronicles his complicated relationship with his father, a labor organizer who lost his job following the air traffic controllers' 1981 strike.

'Art Of The Wasted Day' Makes A Case For Letting The Mind Wander

Mon, 04/23/2018 - 12:09pm

Patricia Hampl's sharp new book argues that daydreaming is a vital part of life. Maureen Corrigan says, after reading it, "you'll understand more of what makes life worth living."

(Image credit: Eslah Attar/NPR)

Fresh Air Weekend: James Comey; 'Atlanta' Actor Brian Tyree Henry

Sat, 04/21/2018 - 8:00am

Comey defends the FBI against charges of partisanship. Critic Ken Tucker reviews John Prine's The Tree of Forgiveness. Henry talks about his Atlanta character Alfred, aka the rapper "Paper Boi."

(Image credit: Elias Williams for NPR)

Amy Schumer Deftly Challenges Beauty Standards In 'I Feel Pretty'

Fri, 04/20/2018 - 1:19pm

A woman with low self-esteem hits her head and suddenly sees herself as madly attractive. Critic David Edelstein says I Feel Pretty suggests the notion of what's "pretty" should be "elasticized."

Before He Became The 'Night Court' Judge, Harry Anderson Was A Con-Man Magician

Fri, 04/20/2018 - 1:19pm

Anderson, who died April 16, began his career as a street performer specializing in elaborate pranks. He spoke to Fresh Air in 1989 about an illusion in which he pretended to chop off his own hand.

Remembering Milos Forman, Director Of 'One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest'

Fri, 04/20/2018 - 1:19pm

The Academy Award-winning filmmaker, who died on April 13, spoke to Fresh Air in 1994 about growing up in the former Czechoslovakia, first under the Gestapo, then under communist rule.

'Westworld' And 'The Handmaid's Tale' Make Impressive Season 2 Returns

Thu, 04/19/2018 - 1:01pm

Both shows are set in a dystopian near-future where things have gone terribly wrong — and both expand their established environments considerably in their sophomore seasons.

Who Is The Mystery Man Behind @realDonaldTrump? (Besides The President)

Thu, 04/19/2018 - 12:54pm

Journalist Robert Draper says "no one understands Trump's base" better than White House social media director (and former caddie) Dan Scavino.

(Image credit: Matt Rourke/AP)

Actor Brian Tyree Henry On Fame, Authenticity And 'Atlanta'

Wed, 04/18/2018 - 1:32pm

Henry plays Alfred, aka the rapper "Paper Boi'," on the FX series Atlanta. As his character becomes more successful, Henry says, he's getting "a little further away from the essence of who [he] is."

Barbara Bush On Meeting George, Motherhood And Her Signature Fake Pearls

Wed, 04/18/2018 - 11:48am

The former first lady, who died Tuesday, told Terry Gross in 1994 that she grew up thinking she'd be a nurse. "But then I met that marvelous George [H.W.] Bush and the nursing went out the window."

(Image credit: Bob Daugherty/AP)

James Comey To 'Fresh Air': The FBI Isn't 'On Anybody's Side'

Tue, 04/17/2018 - 11:12am

The former FBI director tells Terry Gross that he wants to sound the alarm about the "forest fire" of the Trump presidency — and also to defend the FBI against charges of partisanship.

(Image credit: Elias Williams for NPR)

Latest Episode Of 'Legion' Delivers A Thrillingly Original Hour Of TV

Mon, 04/16/2018 - 12:48pm

Legion began its second season in early April on FX. David Bianculli says the new episode of the series, "Chapter 11," is strange and compelling in a way that reminds him of the original Twin Peaks.

After A Journey Through The Lone Star State, Author Concludes: 'The Future Is Texas'

Mon, 04/16/2018 - 12:48pm

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Lawrence Wright predicts that the largest "red" state in the union will eventually move into the "blue" column — and change the nation's politics in the process.

Fresh Air Weekend: The Story Behind 'The Rider'; The Work Of Rodgers And Hammerstein

Sat, 04/14/2018 - 8:00am

Cowboy Brady Jandreau and director Chloé Zhao discuss The Rider. Maureen Corrigan reviews Meg Wolitzer's The Female Persuasion. Todd Purdum talks about Rogers and Hammerstein's legendary partnership.

(Image credit: Sony Pictures Classics)

A Tormented Veteran Rescues Kids From Abuse In 'You Were Never Really Here'

Fri, 04/13/2018 - 1:23pm

Joaquin Phoenix plays a shattered soul who makes his way as a thug-for-hire in director Lynne Ramsay's brutal and unsparing new crime film. Justin Chang calls the movie "superior art-house pulp."

Jon Bon Jovi Reflects On A Music Career That Surpassed His 'Wildest Dreams'

Fri, 04/13/2018 - 1:23pm

Bon Jovi spoke to Fresh Air in '09 about growing up, getting his first single on the radio and having group therapy with his bandmates. He'll be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame on Saturday.

Singer-Songwriter John Prine Draws On His Roots With 'Tree Of Forgiveness'

Thu, 04/12/2018 - 1:01pm

Prine keeps his earthiness alive on his first album of new songs in 13 years. Critic Ken Tucker says The Tree of Forgiveness features simple folk arrangements and a jaunty tone.

First-Ever Evictions Database Shows: 'We're In the Middle Of A Housing Crisis'

Thu, 04/12/2018 - 12:07pm

Matthew Desmond estimates that about 2.3 million evictions were filed in the U.S. in 2016 — a rate of four every minute. "Eviction isn't just a condition of poverty; it's a cause of poverty," he says.

(Image credit: John Moore/Getty Images)

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