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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 47 min ago

Amy Rigby Maintains Her Punk Mischievousness On 'The Old Guys'

Fri, 03/16/2018 - 1:53pm

Rigby's new album, which features jangly guitars and thumping drums, sounds like an old-fashioned rock 'n' roll album. But critic Ken Tucker says that The Old Guy is definitely not "a nostalgia item."

From 'F-Bomb' To 'Photobomb,' How The Dictionary Keeps Up With English

Fri, 03/16/2018 - 1:53pm

New words that enter the dictionary must meet three criteria, says Merriam-Webster lexicographer Kory Stamper: widespread use, sustained use and meaningful use. Originally broadcast April 19, 2017.

The Kronos Quartet Explodes Its Range On Two New Collaborations

Thu, 03/15/2018 - 1:18pm

Two new records showcase the quartet's recent collaborations with Laurie Anderson and a group from Mali. Critic Milo Miles says it's evident how much time and care went into Landfall and Ladilikan.

Robots Are Now 'Creating New Robots,' Tech Reporter Says

Thu, 03/15/2018 - 1:18pm

The evolution of artificial intelligence has exploded over the past five years, leading to computers that can drive and talk. New York Times' Cade Metz explains how machines are learning on their own.

From The 'Fresh Air' Archives: Eddie Bunker, Who Honed His Writing Craft In Prison

Wed, 03/14/2018 - 1:05pm

Bunker, who died in 2005, spent 18 years in prison before becoming a successful writer. He co-wrote the screenplay for the 1985 film Runaway Train, which helped launch the career of actor Danny Trejo.

Humor Blends With Tragedy In The Farcical 'Death of Stalin'

Wed, 03/14/2018 - 1:05pm

Armando Ianucci's new film satirizes the days in 1953 when the Soviet Union lost its totalitarian leader and members of his inner circle argued, plotted and killed while selecting a successor.

Danny Trejo On Acting, Addiction And Playing 'The Mean Chicano Dude'

Wed, 03/14/2018 - 11:33am

Trejo says that his experience standing in the San Quentin prison yard waiting for a riot prepared him for acting: "You're absolutely scared to death ... [but] you have to pretend you're not."

(Image credit: Charley Gallay/Getty Images for Disney)

'Russian Roulette' Authors Seek To Connect The Dots Between Trump And Putin

Tue, 03/13/2018 - 1:00pm

Journalists Michael Isikoff and David Corn have been at the forefront of the investigation of the Trump campaign's ties to Russia. Their new book attempts to put all the pieces of the story together.

(Image credit: Evan Vucci/AP)

New Books Revive The Cold Cases Of Agatha Christie And The Golden State Killer

Tue, 03/13/2018 - 12:32pm

Maureen Corrigan recommends two books that grapple with real-life mysteries: Laura Thompson's biography of the sphinxlike Agatha Christie, and I'll Be Gone In The Dark, by the late Michelle McNamara.

(Image credit: Pegasus Books)

Blacklisted From Syria, A Journalist Says: 'I Couldn't Imagine Staying Away

Mon, 03/12/2018 - 1:21pm

Rania Abouzeid has been covering Syria since 2011 — despite the fact that she's been called a spy, placed on wanted lists by Syrian intelligence and banned from entering the country.

'The Sparsholt Affair' Confirms Alan Hollinghurst's Status As A Literary Master

Mon, 03/12/2018 - 1:21pm

Hollinghurst's new domestic epic leapfrogs across seven decades to examine how the laws of social propriety shape the destinies of a father and son. Critic John Powers says the novel is fascinating.

Fresh Air Weekend: John Oliver; Transgender Activist Sarah McBride

Sat, 03/10/2018 - 8:00am

Oliver dives into often obscure stories on Last Week Tonight. Justin Chang reviews A Wrinkle in Time. McBride is the spokesperson for the LGBTQ rights organization the Human Rights Campaign.

(Image credit: HBO)

New Collection Catches Jazz Bassist Charles Mingus 'Live at Montreux 1975'

Fri, 03/09/2018 - 1:33pm

A new 2-CD set features a decades-old recording of Mingus and his quintet at Switzerland's Montreux Jazz Festival. Citic Kevin Whitehead says the album showcases one of Mingus' most explosive bands.

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

Fri, 03/09/2018 - 1:33pm

"All of us who are writers are doing something that actually matters," Hamid says. His novel, Exit West, follows a couple deciding whether to flee their homeland. Originally broadcast March 8, 2017.

With Go-For-Broke Exuberance, 'A Wrinkle In Time' Celebrates The Power Of Love

Fri, 03/09/2018 - 1:33pm

Ava DuVernay's adaptation of Madeleine L'Engle's novel assets that a young girl's imagination can change the world. Critic Justin Chang says despite some gaudiness, the film has its own kind of magic.

'Jessica Jones' Returns, Her Rage Especially Resonant In The #MeToo Era

Thu, 03/08/2018 - 1:35pm

Netflix's drama about a woman who rebels against conformity and power structures returns for a second season on Thursday. Critic David Bianculli says Jessica Jones "transcends the superhero genre."

Remembering Barry Crimmins, A Comic Who Advocated For Survivors Of Sexual Abuse

Thu, 03/08/2018 - 1:35pm

Crimmins, who died last week, mentored Bobcat Goldthwait when they were up-and-coming comics in the '80s. The two men spoke to Fresh Air in 2015 about their documentary Call Me Lucky.

John Oliver Finds Humor In The News No One Wants To Hear About

Wed, 03/07/2018 - 12:26pm

On Last Week Tonight, Oliver dives into often obscure stories, like NRA TV and the laws that govern televangelism. He describes the show's style as "the slowest improv you've ever seen."

(Image credit: HBO)

Journalist Charts The 'Bizarre Twists And Turns' Of The Trump-Russia Dossier

Tue, 03/06/2018 - 12:46pm

New Yorker writer Jane Mayer explains how the infamous Russian dossier on Donald Trump was compiled — and why so little was done about its findings during the presidential campaign.

(Image credit: Evan Vucci/Associated Press)

Mexican-American Author Finds Inspiration In Family, Tragedy And Trump

Mon, 03/05/2018 - 12:31pm

Luis Alberto Urrea's The House of Broken Angels borrows from the story of his older brother, who died of cancer. He says the book went through a dramatic rewrite after Trump became president.

(Image credit: Joe Mazza/Little Brown)

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