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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: 52 min 35 sec ago

Jennifer Egan's 'Manhattan Beach' Is A Gorgeous Tribute To NYC And Its Seaport

Tue, 09/26/2017 - 2:18pm

Egan's sweeping new historical novel doesn't just draw from the classic catalog of New York stories — it also takes its place among them.

(Image credit: Library of Congress)

How The Boer War Helped Winston Churchill Become The 'Hero Of The Empire'

Tue, 09/26/2017 - 2:18pm

Author Candice Millard argues that Churchill's battlefield coverage and daring escape from capture while serving as a correspondent for a British newspaper were turning points in his life.

An Encounter At A Passport Checkpoint Offers Respite From Depression's Grip

Tue, 09/26/2017 - 1:27pm

Newly divorced and suffering from depression, author Haroon Moghul moved to Dubai for a while, hoping to find a reason to live. Strangely enough, sharing a laugh over his "fat" passport photo helped.

(Image credit: Mark Airs/Ikon Images/Getty Images)

A Former Speechwriter Looks Back On His 'Hopey, Changey' Years With Obama

Mon, 09/25/2017 - 2:55pm

David Litt says writing speeches and jokes for former President Obama was often a delicate task: "There's a whole industry of people trying to take your words out of context."

(Image credit: Olivier Douliery/Getty Images)

Deer Tick Demonstrates Its Ambition And Range On 2 New Albums

Mon, 09/25/2017 - 2:55pm

The Rhode Island quartet is back with two new albums, titled Deer Tick Vol. 1 and Deer Tick Vol. 2. Critic Ken Tucker says first is largely acoustic, while the second features a louder electric sound.

Fresh Air Weekend: Loudon Wainwright III; 'Jerry Before Seinfeld'; 'The Vietnam War'

Sat, 09/23/2017 - 8:00am

Wainwright opens up about the "exes & excess" that inform his music. David Bianculli reviews Jerry Seinfeld's new Netflix special. Ken Burns and Lynn Novick discuss their PBS documentary series.

(Image credit: PBS)

Jazz Pianist Harold Mabern Is In Full Command On 'To Love And Be Loved'

Fri, 09/22/2017 - 1:18pm

Mabern has worked as a pianist for more than half a century. Now he brings brings his confident style and sense of musical history to his latest album, To Love And Be Loved.

'Battle Of The Sexes' Revisits Billie Jean King's Historic Win Against Bobby Riggs

Fri, 09/22/2017 - 1:18pm

Emma Stone stars as King in a breezy new film that carries us back to '73, and the heyday of the women's lib movement. Critic John Powers says the message of Battle of the Sexes still resonates today.

Pioneer Billie Jean King Moved The Baseline For Women's Tennis

Fri, 09/22/2017 - 1:18pm

King's 1973 exhibition match with self-proclaimed male chauvinist Bobby Riggs is now the subject of the new film, Battle of the Sexes. The 20-time Wimbledon champ spoke to Fresh Air on Sept. 12, 2013.

In 'Vietnam War,' Ken Burns Wrestles With The Conflict's Contradictions

Thu, 09/21/2017 - 3:52pm

Burns says he and co-director Lynn Novick initially thought they understood the Vietnam War. But when they started putting together their new PBS series, they realized, "We knew nothing."

(Image credit: PBS)

'Trophy' Reveals The Convoluted Economics Of African Big Game Hunting

Thu, 09/21/2017 - 3:27pm

Shaul Schwarz's new documentary explores the complex relationship between hunters and conservationist. Critic David Edelstein praises the "tangled sympathies" Trophy elicits.

Novel 'Forest Dark' And Dog Book 'Afterglow' Consider The Meaning Of Life

Wed, 09/20/2017 - 11:54am

Critic Maureen Corrigan reviews two books that use experimental forms to tackle weighty topics. "Both of these odd new books offer something special," she says.

(Image credit: Christina Ascani/NPR)

Jerry Seinfeld's New Netflix Special Puts His Comic Life Into Perspective

Wed, 09/20/2017 - 11:53am

After more than 40 years in the business, Seinfeld revisits the clubs where he got his start. Critic David Bianculli says Jerry Before Seinfeld will make you laugh — a lot.

(Image credit: Netflix)

'Cuz' Examines The Tragic Life And Death Of A Young Black Man In LA

Wed, 09/20/2017 - 11:52am

Danielle Allen's memoir centers on her cousin Michael, who was sentenced to a long prison term for carjacking when he was 15. Three years after his release, he was found shot to death in a parked car.

Matthew Sweet's Melodic Hooks Tug At The Heart On 'Tomorrow Forever'

Tue, 09/19/2017 - 1:55pm

Sweet recalls the time just before rock 'n' roll became self-consciously "rock" on his first album of new songs in six years. Critic Ken Tucker calls the music on Tomorrow Forever "wholly unironic."

Could The Trump Presidency Lead To An Era Of Democratic Renewal?

Tue, 09/19/2017 - 1:55pm

Journalists E.J. Dionne and Norm Ornstein say that a new wave of political activism springs from the fact that Trump is unfit for office. Their new book (with Thomas Mann) is One Nation After Trump.

Exhibit Highlights The Work Of The Late Avant-Garde Artist Florine Stettheimer

Tue, 09/19/2017 - 1:55pm

Stettheimer, who died in 1944, had only one public showing of her paintings during her lifetime. Now the Jewish Museum in New York has the first new exhibit of her work in more than 20 years.

Hillary Clinton Says She's 'Optimistic About Our Country, But I Am Not Naive'

Mon, 09/18/2017 - 11:49am

Clinton reflects on the tumultuous 2016 election and the fate of the country under a Trump presidency. "I think we are at a very threatening crossroads," she says. Her new memoir is What Happened.

(Image credit: Courtesy of Jessica Kourkounis)

Self-Aggrandizing, Interminable 'Mother!' Mixes Fantasy And Reality

Fri, 09/15/2017 - 2:43pm

Writer-director Darren Aronofsky's new film is set in a large country house where a young woman, played by Jennifer Lawrence, finds herself under siege by unwanted guests.

Bruce Springsteen: On Jersey, Masculinity And Wishing To Be His Stage Persona

Fri, 09/15/2017 - 2:43pm

"People see you onstage and, yeah, I'd want to be that guy," Springsteen says. "I want to be that guy myself very often." Originally broadcast Oct. 5, 2016.

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