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: 38 min 54 sec ago

Remembering Former Poet Laureate Donald Hall

Fri, 06/29/2018 - 1:34pm

Hall, who died on Saturday, wrote about farm work and his wife, poet Jane Kenyon, in the 1993 memoir Life Work. He and Kenyon spoke to Fresh Air in 1996, and Hall was interviewed again in '02 and '12.

Beyoncé And Jay-Z Present A Unified Front On 'Everything Is Love'

Thu, 06/28/2018 - 12:19pm

The Carters, who married in 2008, celebrate their union with a heavily autobiographical new album. Critic Ken Tucker is impressed by the record's easy shifts between hip-hop and R&B.

Reporter Covering Immigration Warns Government Is 'Ill Equipped' To Reunite Families

Thu, 06/28/2018 - 12:19pm

New Yorker writer Jonathan Blitzer has been in El Paso, Texas, reporting on immigration and family separation. "I've been meeting women who are crying so violently they can barely speak," he says.

'Sicario: Day Of The Soldado' Is A Swaggering Sequel That's Short On Precision

Wed, 06/27/2018 - 2:51pm

The war on drugs has gone from bad to worse in this follow-up to the 2015 film. Justin Chang says that though its "bigger and brasher" than the original, the story in this sequel doesn't fully engage.

Comic W. Kamau Bell On The 'Shades Of America' And Not Feeling 'Black Enough'

Wed, 06/27/2018 - 2:21pm

Bell's new Netflix special is called Private School Negro. He says the word "negro" offends some people, but he has embraced it: "It takes me right back to the height of the civil rights movement."

(Image credit: KC Bailey/Netflix)

Betrayal, Ruination And Dark Comedy Converge In 'A Very English Scandal'

Tue, 06/26/2018 - 12:54pm

A new BBC miniseries streaming on Amazon and starring Hugh Grant tells the story of Britain's Thorpe affair, a 1970s tabloid fiesta that brought together politics, illicit sex and a criminal trial.

Black Lung Disease Can't Keep Frank Newsome From Singing Hymns

Tue, 06/26/2018 - 12:54pm

Newsome, a former coal miner who has black lung disease, started singing when he joined a church in 1963. His sings a cappella in a lined-out hymn style — one of America's oldest music traditions.

'Squeezed' Explores Why America Is Getting Too Expensive For The Middle Class

Tue, 06/26/2018 - 12:54pm

Author Alissa Quart writes that the costs of housing, child care, health care and college are outpacing salaries and threatening the livelihoods of middle class Americans.

Pediatrician Who Exposed Flint Water Crisis Shares Her 'Story Of Resistance'

Mon, 06/25/2018 - 1:10pm

After warning of elevated lead levels in her patients in Flint, Mich., Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha faced a backlash: "The state said that I was an unfortunate researcher, that I was causing near-hysteria."

(Image credit: Gabriella Demczuk/Getty Images)

Beep Beep, Yeah! Paul McCartney On Corden's 'Carpool Karaoke' Is TV At Its Best

Mon, 06/25/2018 - 11:45am

Late Late Show host James Corden took the famed Beatle on a ride that was, by turns, unexpectedly tender, touching and meaningful.

(Image credit: YouTube)

Fresh Air Weekend: John Prine; Novelist Stephen McCauley

Sat, 06/23/2018 - 8:00am

Prine explains why he never thought he'd be a recording artist. Critic Justin Chang reviews the documentary The King. McCauley's novel, My Ex-Life, centers on couple whose marriage ended decades ago.

'The King' Fuses Elvis' Turbulent Life Story With The Soul Of America

Fri, 06/22/2018 - 12:23pm

Eugene Jarecki's documentary uses the rise and fall of Elvis Presley to track the ups and downs of America's past century. Critic Justin Chang calls The King a "feverishly analytical" musical essay.

In The Event Of Attack, Here's How The Government Plans 'To Save Itself'

Fri, 06/22/2018 - 12:23pm

In Raven Rock, Garrett Graff describes the bunkers designed to protect government leaders and the roles for various agencies in the event of catastrophe. Originally broadcast June 21, 2018.

'Born Trump' Examines The 'Emotional Hold' The President Has On His Family

Thu, 06/21/2018 - 2:44pm

Journalist Emily Jane Fox focused on Trump's three marriages and five children when writing her new book. "His presence is overwhelming," she says of the president's role in the family.

(Image credit: Alex Wong/Getty Images)

2 Books Find Fuel In The American Landscape

Thu, 06/21/2018 - 2:14pm

Critic Maureen Corrigan recommends two books to expand your horizons: One is a cultural history of the great American road trip; the other an early 20th-century classic of Midwestern rural life.

(Image credit: CSA Images/Snapstock/Getty Images/CSA Images RF)

2 First-Rate Novels Celebrate The Humor And Heroism Of Unconventional Women

Wed, 06/20/2018 - 12:54pm

Authors Dorthe Nors and Sayaka Murata use bracing good humor to subvert readers' expectations about single women in their new novels, Mirror, Shoulder, Signal and Convenience Store Woman.

Novelist Stephen McCauley Embraces Life On A 'Small, Everyday Scale'

Wed, 06/20/2018 - 12:54pm

McCauley's novel, My Ex-Life, is a comedy about a couple whose marriage ended years ago when the husband came out as gay. "All relationships evolve — even for people who stay together," he says.

Father John Misty Mixes Egotism And Humor On 'God's Favorite Customer'

Tue, 06/19/2018 - 12:39pm

Critic Ken Tucker says Father John Misty's new album offers a "roundabout, melancholy" acknowledgement of the artistic selfishness that often accompanies confessional songwriting.

Journalist Warns Cyber Attacks Present A 'Perfect Weapon' Against Global Order

Tue, 06/19/2018 - 12:39pm

New York Times national security correspondent David Sanger says U.S. officials worry that foreign powers have planted malware that could knock out critical infrastructure, including electric power.

John Prine On Music, Cancer And Why He Never Thought He'd Be A Recording Artist

Mon, 06/18/2018 - 12:27pm

The singer, songwriter and guitarist underwent surgeries in 1996 and 2013 that affected his throat and voice. He likes his voice better now: "It dropped down lower and feels friendlier."

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