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: 1 hour 6 min ago

Fresh Air Weekend: Questlove; 'Elvis & Nixon'; Tom Hanks

Sat, 04/30/2016 - 8:00am

The Roots' drummer Questlove discusses the artistry involved in creating a great meal. Critic David Edelstein reviews Elvis & Nixon. Tom Hanks discusses his new movie, A Hologram for the King.

Remembering Harry Wu, 'Troublemaker' For The Chinese Communist Party

Fri, 04/29/2016 - 12:29pm

Wu, who survived 19 years in Chinese labor camps, died Tuesday. Born in China, Wu had lived in the United States since 1985 and was an active proponent of human rights. Originally broadcast in 1994.

A White House Meeting Brings Together 2 Lost Souls In 'Elvis & Nixon'

Fri, 04/29/2016 - 12:29pm

A new film imagines what happened when Elvis Presley met President Nixon on Dec. 21, 1970. Film critic David Edelstein says Elvis & Nixon "shows the crazy-making insulation of celebrity."

Musicians Pay Tribute To Blind Willie Johnson On 'God Don't Never Change'

Fri, 04/29/2016 - 12:29pm

A range of musicians, including Tom Waits and Sinéad O'Connor, cover gospel-blues performer Johnson on a new tribute album. Critic Milo Miles says the record's tracks are striking and inventive.

'New Yorker' Cartoonist And TV Producer Writes 'Honest Portrait' Of His Parents

Fri, 04/29/2016 - 12:29pm

Bruce Eric Kaplan's illustrated memoir I Was A Child describes his life in New Jersey in the '60s and '70s. He says the book is a way of keeping his parents alive. Originally broadcast April 2, 2015.

Jazz Legend Sonny Rollins Revisits Past Performances With 'Holding The Stage'

Thu, 04/28/2016 - 1:22pm

The 85-year-old saxophonist's new album features live recordings made between 1979 and 2012. Jazz critic Kevin Whitehead calls Holding The Stage a "mixed bag" with a few "real gems."

Mother And Daughter Come Together At The Card Table In 'The Bridge Ladies'

Thu, 04/28/2016 - 1:22pm

Betsy Lerner writes about joining her 83-year-old mother's weekly bridge club in her new book. Critic Maureen Corrigan calls The Bridge Ladies a "smart and colorful memoir."

If 'Carmichael Show' Topics Feel Uncomfortable, That's Because They're Real

Thu, 04/28/2016 - 1:07pm

Jerrod Carmichael says that the complicated family debates on his NBC comedy series are inspired by real life. "I grew up in a household that's very argumentative ... in a very healthy way," he says.

Questlove On Prince, Doo-Wop And The Food Equivalent Of The 'Mona Lisa'

Wed, 04/27/2016 - 1:12pm

In his new book, somethingtofoodabout, The Roots' drummer discusses the artistry involved in creating a great meal. "I'm more obsessed with the journey ... than the destination," Questlove says.

Sturgill Simpson Moves Into Uncharted Waters In 'A Sailor's Guide to Earth'

Tue, 04/26/2016 - 12:19pm

Rock critic Ken Tucker says Simpson deepens his range and reconnects country to R&B on his new record, a concept album about becoming a father.

Tom Hanks Says Self-Doubt Is 'A High-Wire Act That We All Walk'

Tue, 04/26/2016 - 12:19pm

"No matter what we've done there comes a point where you think, 'How did I get here?' " Hanks says. He plays an American businessman working in the middle of the Saudi Arabian desert in his new film.

'Alter Egos' Dissects Hillary Clinton's Tenure As Obama's Secretary Of State

Mon, 04/25/2016 - 12:31pm

Mark Landler of The New York Times discusses Clinton and Obama's contrasting views on America's role in the world. Clinton, Landler says, was often the hawk, more willing to intervene with force.

Fresh Air Weekend: Autism; New Historical Fiction; The Future Of Yellowstone

Sat, 04/23/2016 - 8:00am

John Robison, who is on the autism spectrum, talks about TMS treatment. Maureen Corrigan reviews two suspenseful new novels. David Quammen warns that Yellowstone National Park may be "loved to death."

Remembering Legendary Musician Prince, A 'Strikingly Original' Icon

Fri, 04/22/2016 - 12:24pm

Rock critic Ken Tucker says Prince, the singer, songwriter and instrumentalist who died yesterday at his home in Minnesota, was "the most inventive and prolific pop musician of his generation."

'Huntsman' And 'Tale Of Tales' Put A Modern Spin On Classic Fairy Tales

Fri, 04/22/2016 - 12:24pm

Critic David Edelstein reviews The Huntsman: Winter's War, a sequel to the 2012 movie, Snow White and the Huntsman, and Tale of Tales, an adaptation of a group of 17th century Italian folk stories.

Flights Of Fancy: Exploring The Songs And Pathways Of 'The Living Bird'

Fri, 04/22/2016 - 12:24pm

Wildlife photographer Gerrit Vyn and essayist Scott Weidensaul share bird calls and discuss some of the remarkable abilities of birds. Originally broadcast Oct. 20, 2015.

Electric Currents And An 'Emotional Awakening' For One Man With Autism

Thu, 04/21/2016 - 12:50pm

Switched On author John Elder Robison says the emotional empathy he gained after receiving transcranial magnetic stimulation was intense. "It's like I lost a protective shield," he says.

'Scary Old Sex': Stories Of Love From The Aged

Wed, 04/20/2016 - 12:18pm

Seventy-four-year-old author Arlene Heyman discusses her debut short-story collection, which focuses on the sex lives and intimate relationships of characters in their 60s and 70s.

Henry Threadgill Doubles Up On 'Old Locks And Irregular Verbs'

Wed, 04/20/2016 - 12:18pm

The Pulitzer Prize-winning composer doesn't play on his new jazz album, but critic Kevin Whitehead says Old Locks and Irregular Verbs is nevertheless a perfect introduction to Threadgill's voice.

From A Whaling Ship To A Mysterious Painting, New Novels Deliver Big Thrills

Wed, 04/20/2016 - 12:18pm

Reviewer Maureen Corrigan says Ian McGuire's The North Water and Dominic Smith's The Last Painting of Sara de Vos are suspenseful historical novels that may just give readers nightmares.




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