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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: 16 min 3 sec ago

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)

A Purple Heart Warrior Takes Aim At Military Inequality In 'Shoot Like A Girl'

Thu, 03/02/2017 - 1:56pm

Maj. Mary Jennings Hegar is part of a lawsuit that argues excluding women from combat is unconstitutional. She says the lawsuit isn't about women's rights – it's about military effectiveness.

(Image credit: Penguin Group USA)

Sensing Chaos, Russia Takes A 'Wait-And-See' Approach To Trump

Wed, 03/01/2017 - 4:07pm

David Remnick and Evan Osnos of The New Yorker say Russia was caught off guard by Trump's election. "Nobody expected, frankly, that [he] was going to win," Osnos says.

(Image credit: Sergei Ilnitsky/AFP/Getty Images)

A Fatal Hit-And-Run Leads To A Collision Of Cultures In 'Waking Lions'

Wed, 03/01/2017 - 1:09pm

A doctor is forced into secret medical service in Ayelet Gundar-Goshen's new novel. Maureen Corrigan calls it "a psychological suspense tale mashed with a social novel about the refugee crisis."

(Image credit: Pushkin Press)

'River On Fire' Explores Genius, Madness And The Poetry Of Robert Lowell

Tue, 02/28/2017 - 12:45pm

Kay Redfield Jamison's new book describes how Lowell's manic-depressive illness influenced his life and work. "His manias tended to lead him into writing a fresh kind of poetry," she says.

Alto Saxophonist Miguel Zenón Evokes Folkloric Melodies On 'Típico'

Tue, 02/28/2017 - 12:45pm

The Puerto Rican jazz musician leads his long-running quartet on his new album. Critic Kevin Whitead says Típico is full of "feverishly intricate music that ... comes from the heart."

New 'Chimes At Midnight' DVD Recalls Orson Welles' Autobiographical Turn As Falstaff

Tue, 02/28/2017 - 12:45pm

Welles moved Shakespeare's mostly peripheral character to the center of this 1965 film. Critic Lloyd Schwartz says the performance "may be the most profound moment of Welles' entire film career."

Remembering Actor Bill Paxton, Of 'A Simple Plan' And 'Twister' Fame

Mon, 02/27/2017 - 1:20pm

Paxton, who died Saturday due to complications with surgery, appeared in the TV series Big Love, as well as in blockbuster films like Titanic, Aliens and Apollo 13. Originally broadcast in 2002.

Photographer Builds A 'Photo Ark' For 6,500 Animal Species And Counting

Mon, 02/27/2017 - 12:52pm

National Geographic photographer Joel Sartore is on a mission to document every captive animal species in the world. He talks about getting an arctic fox to hold still, and Photoshopping out poop.

(Image credit: Joel Sartore/National Geographic)

Fresh Air Weekend: Neal Brennan; 'My Favorite Thing Is Monsters'; 'High Noon'

Sat, 02/25/2017 - 8:00am

Chappelle's Show co-creator Brennan discusses his special, 3 Mics. Critic John Powers reviews Emil Ferris' graphic novel debut. Glenn Frankel links the film High Noon to the Hollywood blacklist era.

(Image credit: Brandon Hickman/Netflix)

'Get Out' Mixes Satire, Race And Horror, And The Result Is A Scream

Fri, 02/24/2017 - 12:38pm

A young white woman brings her black boyfriend home to meet her parents in director Jordan Peele's first feature film. Critic David Edelstein says Get Out is a comic thriller worth seeing.

Mike Mills Grapples With His Mother's 'Tricky Ghost' In '20th Century Women'

Fri, 02/24/2017 - 12:38pm

The director has been nominated for an Oscar for his screenplay about a woman figuring out how to raise her teenage son on her own. Originally broadcast Dec. 19, 2016.

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