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 25 min ago

'I Was Somebody's Mother': Reflections On The Guilt And Grief Of Miscarriage

Tue, 08/01/2017 - 12:19pm

Ariel Levy was five months pregnant and alone in a hotel room in Mongolia when she gave birth. Her son lived only 10 minutes. Afterward, Levy was haunted by the notion that she had caused his death.

(Image credit: David Klagsbrun/Random House)

Remembering Actress Jeanne Moreau, Icon Of French New Wave Cinema

Mon, 07/31/2017 - 2:17pm

Moreau pursued acting despite her father's disapproval. She told Fresh Air, "I led a double life. ... He discovered it when he saw my picture on the front page." Moreau died Monday at the age of 89.

(Image credit: Reg Lancaster/Getty Images)

Newly Released Collection Reveals The Playfulness Of Pianist Artur Schnabel

Mon, 07/31/2017 - 1:58pm

In 1942, the Austrian pianist recorded a set of Schubert Impromptus that were never released. Those recordings, plus others from the session, are now available in a new CD set.

In New Novel, Tom Perrotta Shares 'Post-Parental' Reflections From An Empty Nest

Mon, 07/31/2017 - 1:58pm

Mrs. Fletcher tells the story of Eve, a single mother whose only child, Brendan, has left for college. Perrotta says the book was inspired by the upheaval he experienced when his own kids moved out.

(Image credit: Ben King/HBO)

Fresh Air Weekend: Comic Jessica Williams; 'Chester B. Himes'; Trump And The Media

Sat, 07/29/2017 - 8:00am

Williams discusses The Daily Show and her new film, The Incredible Jessica James. Maureen Corrigan reviews a biography of writer Himes. New York Times reporter Peter Baker talks about covering Trump.

(Image credit: Netflix)

For Jazz Pianist Dave Frishberg, Music And Wit Go Hand In Hand

Fri, 07/28/2017 - 1:23pm

Frishberg's playful songs include "Peel Me a Grape" and "A Little Taste." To mark the publication of his new memoir, My Dear Departed Past, we listen back to a 1991 interview with the songwriter.

An Archival Interview With Ray Manzarek, Keyboardist For The Doors

Fri, 07/28/2017 - 1:23pm

To mark the 50th anniversary of "Light My Fire" hitting No. 1, Fresh Air listens back to an interview with the band's keyboardist, who died in 2013. Originally broadcast in 1998.

'Detroit' Dramatizes A Deadly '67 Motel Encounter Between Police And Civilians

Fri, 07/28/2017 - 1:23pm

Kathryn Bigelow recreates a true, largely forgotten incident of brutality in her latest film. Critic David Edelstein says Detroit triggers a sense of powerlessness that is visceral.

Veteran Political Reporter: Trump White House Is 'Different In Almost Every Way'

Thu, 07/27/2017 - 1:22pm

New York Times correspondent Peter Baker has covered the last four presidents. He says President Trump has crossed so many boundaries that "it's easy to become inured to it."

JD Allen Goes Free Form And Improvisational On 'Radio Flyer'

Wed, 07/26/2017 - 12:45pm

Tenor saxophonist JD Allen has been leading a group with the same musicians for 10 years now. Critic Kevin Whitehead says the quartet's familiarity helps it hit its groove on Radio Flyer.

Looking Back At The Most Powerful Earthquake Ever To Strike North America

Wed, 07/26/2017 - 12:45pm

Science writer Henry Fountain says the deadly quake that shook Alaska in 1964 was so loud some thought it was the beginning of World War III. His new book is The Great Quake.

New Chester Himes Biography Reveals A Life As Wild As Any Detective Story

Wed, 07/26/2017 - 12:45pm

Lawrence P. Jackson's biography tracks the writer's course from prison to published novelist. Critic Maureen Corrigan says Himes' life story is well worth reading.

(Image credit: W. W. Norton & Co. Inc)

Comic Jessica Williams On 'The Daily Show' And Learning To 'Never Be Average'

Tue, 07/25/2017 - 2:10pm

Williams joined The Daily Show when she was 22. She says, "I was younger and I was black and I was a woman, so ... I'm like, I have something to prove." She now stars in The Incredible Jessica James.

(Image credit: Netflix)

The Enduring Legacy Of Jane Austen's 'Truth Universally Acknowledged'

Tue, 07/25/2017 - 1:09pm

Linguist Geoff Nunberg describes the opening sentence to Pride and Prejudice as a "masterpiece of indirection" that is frequently repurposed, but whose irony is never matched.

(Image credit: De Agostini Picture Library/Getty Images)

Good Music Is The Best Revenge On Waxahatchee's 'Out In The Storm'

Mon, 07/24/2017 - 12:45pm

Katie Crutchfield, who performs under the name Waxahatchee, releases energy and emotion with pinpoint precision on her new album. Critic Ken Tucker has a review.

Inside The Global Seed Vault, Where The History And Future Of Agriculture Is Stored

Mon, 07/24/2017 - 12:45pm

Seeds on Ice author Cary Fowler describes the underground tunnel near the North Pole, which stores and protects a collection of 933,000 samples of different, unique crop varieties.

Fresh Air Weekend: Billy Bragg On Skiffle; 'Crime And Punishment In Black America'

Sat, 07/22/2017 - 8:00am

Bragg describes skiffle, the music movement that brought guitar to British radio. James Forman Jr. explains how black Leaders unwittingly contributed to the era of mass incarceration.

(Image credit: Andy Whale/Courtesy of Faber & Faber)

'Dunkirk' Is A Harrowing War Movie, Muddled By A Convoluted Timeline

Fri, 07/21/2017 - 1:12pm

A new film dramatizes the '40 Allied retreat from the beaches of France as the Nazis close in. Despite strong action sequences, Dunkirk relies too much on fragmented storytelling and obvious plotting.

'Awkward' And 'Insecure' Get To The Root Of Writer Issa Rae's Humor

Fri, 07/21/2017 - 1:12pm

As a self-described "awkward black girl," Rae says she often felt that she was straddling two worlds growing up. She created and stars in the HBO series Insecure. Originally broadcast Nov. 8, 2016.

Fresh Air Remembers Oscar Award-Winning Actor Martin Landau

Thu, 07/20/2017 - 12:58pm

Landau, who died Saturday, appeared in the films Crimes and Misdemeanors and Ed Wood, as well as in the 1960s TV series Mission Impossible. Originally broadcast in 1990.




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