Fresh Air

Weekdays at noon and midnight

Fresh Air with Terry Gross, the Peabody Award-winning weekday magazine of contemporary arts and issues, is one of public radio's most popular programs. Each week, nearly 4.5 million people listen to the show's intimate conversations broadcast on more than 450 National Public Radio (NPR) stations across the country, as well as in Europe on the World Radio Network.

Visit the Fresh Air website for more information.

Though Fresh Air has been categorized as a "talk show," it hardly fits the mold. Its 1994 Peabody Award citation credits Fresh Air with "probing questions, revelatory interviews and unusual insights." And a variety of top publications count Gross among the country's leading interviewers. The show gives interviews as much time as needed, and complements them with comments from well-known critics and commentators.

Fresh Air is produced at WHYY-FM in Philadelphia and broadcast nationally by NPR.

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1:01pm

Wed July 24, 2013
Author Interviews

After WWII, Europe Was A 'Savage Continent' Of Devastation

Originally published on Mon July 29, 2013 5:59 pm

In his latest book, Savage Continent, Keith Lowe takes a look at Europe in the years directly following World War II.
Picador

In the introduction to his book, Savage Continent, Keith Lowe writes:

Imagine a world without institutions. No governments. No school or universities. No access to any information. No banks. Money no longer has any worth. There are no shops, because no one has anything to sell. Law and order are virtually non-existent because there is no police force and no judiciary. Men with weapons roam the streets taking what they want. Women of all classes and ages prostitute themselves for food and protection.

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2:18pm

Tue July 23, 2013
Author Interviews

A Reclusive Novelist Reckons With His Legacy '& Sons'

Originally published on Tue July 23, 2013 2:56 pm

New York City's Central Park
AnnaNem iStockphoto.com

At the center of David Gilbert's new novel & Sons is a famous and famously reclusive writer in the J.D. Salinger model. It's a book about the writer as author of books, and as the father of sons — sons who don't feel nearly as warmly toward him as readers do. When & Sons begins, the writer, Andrew Newbold Dyer — or A.N. Dyer as he's known to his readers — is nearing 80.

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12:43pm

Tue July 23, 2013
Remembrances

Carline Ray: A Pioneer For Women In Jazz Dies At 88

Originally published on Tue July 23, 2013 2:56 pm

Carline Ray, who sang with The International Sweethearts of Rhythm and Mary Lou Williams died on July 18 at the age of 88.
Jazz Promo Services

Pioneering musician Carline Ray died July 18 at age 88. In the 1940s, when it was difficult for women to be accepted as jazz musicians, Ray found a home in the all-female band The International Sweethearts of Rhythm as the guitarist and a featured vocalist. She was also a bass player who performed with Sy Oliver, Mercer Ellington and Mary Lou Williams.

Ray was born in Harlem in 1925 during the Harlem Renaissance. She graduated from Juilliard and the Manhattan School of Music. Her husband, Luis Russell, led his own band and worked as Louis Armstrong's music director.

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2:14pm

Mon July 22, 2013
Middle East

Morsi's Ouster In Egypt: A 'Bookend' For The Arab Spring

Originally published on Mon July 22, 2013 2:17 pm

In Cairo on July 17, supporters of the ousted president demonstrate for his reinstatement.
Gianluigi Guercia AFP/Getty Images

After covering the Egyptian revolution that overthrew President Hosni Mubarak in 2011, David Kirkpatrick has now been reporting on the military's ouster of Egypt's first democratically elected president, Mohammed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Kirkpatrick, The New York Times' Cairo bureau chief, arrived in Egypt in January 2011, and days later flew to Tunisia to cover the revolution that launched the Arab Spring.

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9:03am

Sat July 20, 2013
Fresh Air Weekend

Fresh Air Weekend: Jason Isbell, 'Cuckoo's Calling,' 'Orange Is The New Black'

Originally published on Sat July 20, 2013 12:58 pm

Jason Isbell was previously a member of Drive-By Truckers. His solo albums include Sirens of the Ditch and Here We Rest.
Eric England Courtesy of the artist

Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:

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12:38pm

Fri July 19, 2013
Arts & Life

Two Documentaries Examine Violence, Human And Animal

Originally published on Fri July 19, 2013 1:49 pm

The new documentary Blackfish looks at the practice of keeping orca whales in captivity.
EPK

Two documentaries, Blackfish and The Act of Killing, are making waves around the world. The first riles you up; the second blows your mind.

"Blackfish" is the Inuits' name for the orca, a creature that they say is worthy of veneration but that you don't want to mess with — the chief example in Gabriela Cowperthwaite's Blackfish being Tilikum, responsible for two, possibly three human deaths.

The movie is Tilikum's story — along with the story of other orcas kept in captivity in theme parks like SeaWorld.

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10:49am

Fri July 19, 2013
Interviews

Dean Norris On Playing Good In 'Breaking Bad'

Originally published on Fri July 19, 2013 12:38 pm

Dean Norris plays DEA agent Hank Schrader in AMC's Breaking Bad. "He's a good cop, he just hasn't put the pieces together yet," Norris says.
Ben Leuner AMC

This interview was originally broadcast on Aug. 6, 2012.

With each season of AMC's Breaking Bad, Dean Norris' character, DEA agent Hank Schrader, has evolved from a knuckleheaded jock into a complex, sympathetic and even heroic counterpoint to the show's anti-hero, high-school chemistry teacher turned meth cook Walter White. And to further complicate matters, Schrader and White (played by Bryan Cranston) are brothers-in-law.

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1:40pm

Thu July 18, 2013
Book Reviews

The Only Surprise In Rowling's 'Cuckoo's Calling' Is The Author

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 3:41 pm

J.K. Rowling recently revealed herself to be the author of the mystery novel The Cuckoo's Calling.
Ben Pruchnie Getty Images

Call it "The Mystery of the Missing Book Sales" — and I don't think we'll be needing to bring Sherlock Holmes in to solve this one. In April, a debut mystery called The Cuckoo's Calling was published. It appeared to be written by an unknown British writer named Robert Galbraith, who was identified on the book jacket as a former military cop now working in private security.

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1:40pm

Thu July 18, 2013
Pop Culture

Maria Bamford: A Seriously Funny Comedian

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 3:05 pm

It's almost uncomfortable to laugh at Maria Bamford's comedy, because so much of it is about really serious problems she has: OCD, bipolar disorder, suicidal thoughts. She's been hospitalized several times. But you have to laugh, because she's that funny.

In addition to the difficulties from which she suffers, Bamford — who has a new comedy CD out called Ask Me About My New God! — incorporates her family into much of her material. She's close to both her parents, in part, she says, because they've been through so much together.

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2:25pm

Wed July 17, 2013
Music Interviews

Jason Isbell Locates His Musical Compass On 'Southeastern'

Originally published on Wed October 30, 2013 10:38 am

Jason Isbell was previously a member of Drive-By Truckers. His solo albums include Sirens of the Ditch and Here We Rest.
Eric England Courtesy of the artist

When singer-songwriter Jason Isbell used to get drunk, he'd sometimes tell his then-girlfriend, the musician Amanda Shires, that he needed to quit the bottle — and that if it was going to take, he'd have to go to rehab. Eventually, she said the next time he told her that, she'd hold him to it. And she did. And he went. And, he tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross, "The jury is still out on whether or not it worked, but it worked today and all the days leading up to this."

Initially, he says he was scared about what sobriety would do to his personality and his creativity.

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4:29pm

Tue July 16, 2013
Television

Laughs And Drama Behind Bars With 'Orange Is The New Black'

Taylor Schilling and Lin Tucci in the Netflix series Orange Is the New Black.
Jessica Miglio Netflix

Netflix's original series Orange Is the New Black has two important TV predecessors. One is HBO's Oz, the 1997 men-in-prison drama from Tom Fontana that paved the way for HBO's The Sopranos. The other is Showtime's Weeds, which in the fourth season put one of its central characters behind bars.

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4:29pm

Tue July 16, 2013
Around the Nation

Investigation Reveals A Military Payroll Rife With Glitches

Scot Paltrow is a special enterprise correspondent for Reuters.
Reuters

A new investigative report from Reuters says payroll errors in the military are widespread. And that "once mistakes are detected, getting them corrected — or just explained — can test even the most persistent soldiers."

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1:51pm

Tue July 16, 2013
Music Reviews

Sylvester: 'Mighty Real' Disco Star Deserves A Modern Spotlight

Originally published on Tue July 16, 2013 4:29 pm

Sylvester's 1978 album Step II resulted in a couple of smash singles, "Dance (Disco Heat)" and "You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)."
Fantasy Archives

3:04pm

Mon July 15, 2013
Author Interviews

Christ In Context: 'Zealot' Explores The Life Of Jesus

Originally published on Mon July 15, 2013 5:13 pm

iStockphoto.com

Writer and scholar Reza Aslan was 15 years old when he found Jesus. His secular Muslim family had fled to the U.S. from Iran, and Aslan's conversion was, in a sense, an adolescent's attempt to fit into American life and culture. "My parents were certainly surprised," Aslan tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross.

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9:03am

Sat July 13, 2013
Fresh Air Weekend

Fresh Air Weekend: Liev Schreiber, Tomi Ungerer And Jay-Z

Tomi Ungerer's 1967 book Moon Man follows its lonely protagonist as he visits Earth for the very first time.
Tomi Ungerer

Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:

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9:03am

Sat July 13, 2013
Fresh Air Weekend

Fresh Air Weekend: Schreiber, Ungerer And 'The Newsroom'

Liev Schreiber as Hollywood lawyer Ray Donovan in Ray Donovan.
Suzanne Tenner Showtime

Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:

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1:57pm

Fri July 12, 2013
Movie Reviews

Introducing Oscar Grant, The Man Behind The Headlines

Originally published on Fri July 12, 2013 2:44 pm

Based on a true story, Fruitvale Station won the Grand Jury Prize at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival. Michael B. Jordan stars as Oscar Grant and Ariana Neal stars as his young daughter, Tatiana.
Cait Adkins The Weinstein Co.

The actor Michael B. Jordan gives a major performance in Ryan Coogler's debut film, Fruitvale Station. He plays 22-year-old Oscar Grant, who was shot in a run-in with cops at an Oakland, Calif., train stop in the early hours of 2009. The film opens with cellphone footage of the actual event, so you know what's coming. But the Oscar you meet on the last day of 2008 remains a man, not a martyr.

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1:23pm

Fri July 12, 2013
Television

Back For More: Sorkin's 'Newsroom' Is A Serious Standout

Originally published on Fri July 12, 2013 2:44 pm

Jeff Daniels returns to Aaron Sorkin's HBO series The Newsroom as cable news anchor Will McAvoy.
HBO

The one major change series creator Aaron Sorkin made to The Newsroom between seasons was a structural one. Instead of having each week's show focus on a separate major storyline, this year's edition of The Newsroom follows a single story over the course of the entire season. And it's a season-long plot line in which anchor Will McAvoy and the other employees of the fictional Atlantic Cable News network get one important news report very wrong.

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11:00am

Fri July 12, 2013
Interviews

Jeff Daniels: Anchoring The Cast Of 'The Newsroom'

Originally published on Fri July 12, 2013 2:44 pm

After a public meltdown and a wholesale staff defection, Will McAvoy (Jeff Daniels) decides to take a different approach with his nightly news show.
HBO

This interview was originally broadcast on June 20, 2012.

Aaron Sorkin's HBO drama The Newsroom revolves around Will McAvoy (Jeff Daniels), a popular cable-news anchor floating happily along with his nightly newscast, which does well in the ratings but doesn't tend to delve into anything that could offend or alienate anyone.

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3:59pm

Thu July 11, 2013
Health Care

Former Insurance Exec Offers An Insider's Look At Obamacare

Pill bottles
iStockphoto.com

On March 23, 2010, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was signed into law. It's aimed at making health insurance more affordable and reducing the overall costs of health care.

Some parts of the law have already gone into effect: Insurers can't impose lifetime dollar limits on essential benefits, like hospital stays; children can stay on their parents' plan until they're 26; children with pre-existing conditions can't be denied coverage; and all new insurance plans must cover preventive care and medical screenings.

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3:56pm

Thu July 11, 2013
Music Reviews

Jay-Z Swings Triumphant Then Trivial On 'Magna Carta Holy Grail'

Originally published on Thu July 11, 2013 4:19 pm

Jay-Z's previous albums include Reasonable Doubt and The Blueprint. He collaborated with Kanye West for Watch the Throne.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

Now 43 years old, Jay-Z has become the Jay Gatsby of hip-hop: a man with a checkered background playing host to endless parties, celebrating excellence, the good life and himself. It's no wonder that he was asked to oversee the music for director Baz Luhrmann's amusement park ride version of F. Scott Fitzgerald's romantic fantasy.

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2:47pm

Wed July 10, 2013
Author Interviews

'Blue Plate Special': A Generous Helping Of Life

Originally published on Wed July 10, 2013 3:56 pm

Author Kate Christensen weaves her love of food and cooking into a new memoir.
Michael Sharkey Doubleday

When novelist Kate Christensen was just a toddler, she witnessed her father beating her mother. It was a scene that would haunt Christensen for decades.

And so it's with a description of that morning that she chooses to begin her memoir Blue Plate Special: An Autobiography of My Appetites. The book that unfolds is an examination of the reverberations of her father's violence in her life, and a meditation on how her love of food helped her cope.

As a child, she tells Fresh Air's Dave Davies, she refused to identify with her mother in the scenario.

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2:45pm

Wed July 10, 2013
The Salt

'Eating On The Wild Side:' A Field Guide To Nutritious Food

Originally published on Tue July 16, 2013 10:17 am

The cover of Eating on the Wild Side.
Little Brown and Company

We like to think that if we eat our recommended daily allowance of fruits and vegetables, we're doing right by our bodies. Think again, says health writer Jo Robinson.

In her new book, Eating on the Wild Side, Robinson argues that our prehistoric ancestors picked and gathered wild plants that were in many ways far more healthful than the stuff we buy today at farmers' markets.

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2:11pm

Tue July 9, 2013
Music Reviews

Two New Jazz Albums Recall The Wide Open Spaces of The West

Rich Halley and his quartet play with Bobby Bradford at the Penofin Jazz Festival.
Bob Pyle Rich Halley

Portland, Ore. tenor saxophonist Rich Halley's quartet album Crossing the Passes on his Pine Eagle label commemorates a week-long trek over the Wallowa mountain range in Northeast Oregon, where Halley's been climbing since he was a boy. We could talk about his dual obsessions with music and nature as cultivating a love of wide-open improvisational spaces; he's got one band that only plays outdoors. But all that climbing also has practical benefits: It builds lung-power.

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1:42pm

Tue July 9, 2013
Latin America

Drugs, Chaos And Violence Darken Mexico's 'Midnight'

Originally published on Tue July 9, 2013 2:11 pm

In his new book, Alfredo Corchado writes about the escalating violence in Mexico.
iStockphoto.com

When Alfredo Corchado went to cover Mexico for The Dallas Morning News, he was determined not to focus on drugs and crime but rather to cover issues critical to the country's future — immigration, education and the economy.

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1:29pm

Mon July 8, 2013
Television

'The Bridge:' Mayhem On The Border, With Big Issues At Stake

Originally published on Mon July 8, 2013 3:37 pm

In the new FX series The Bridge, Diane Kruger stars as a detective investigating a murder along the U.S.-Mexico border.
Jordin Althaus FX Networks

The FX version of the Scandinavian series The Bridge, like the Showtime version of the Israeli TV series that inspired Homeland, is a major revamp as well as a crucial relocation. With Homeland, the focus became American politics and home-soil terrorism. In The Bridge, premiering July 10, the setting is changed to the U.S.-Mexico border. This allows executive producer Meredith Stiehm, a writer-producer from Homeland, to deal with everything that relocation provides — including the white-hot issues of immigration reform and border security.

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1:29pm

Mon July 8, 2013
Television

As 'Ray Donovan,' Liev Schreiber Cleans Up Hollywood's Messes

Originally published on Tue July 9, 2013 8:53 am

One of the aspects that attracted Schreiber to Ray Donovan was the prospect of playing a character for whom words were relatively unimportant.
Showtime

In the new Showtime series Ray Donovan, Liev Schreiber stars in the title role as a man who knows how to handle a crisis. It's Donovan's job to clean up the messes of Hollywood's rich and powerful while trying to keep his own personal problems under wraps.

A TV series is something of a new turn for Schreiber, who's been acting onstage and in movies for two decades. But playing complicated characters is something he's earned a reputation for, with roles in films like Defiance and The Manchurian Candidate.

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12:49pm

Mon July 8, 2013
Music Reviews

Eleanor Friedberger's 'Personal Record' Examines The Little Things

Originally published on Mon July 8, 2013 1:29 pm

Personal Record is the second solo album by Eleanor Friedberger of The Fiery Furnaces.
Courtesy of the artist

One major source of pleasure in the music Eleanor Friedberger makes as half of The Fiery Furnaces is a matter of sheer density — the density of The Fiery Furnaces' musical ideas, the thick layers of words, lyrics that operate as dense sounds with meaning to be extracted from them.

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9:03am

Sat July 6, 2013
Fresh Air Weekend

Fresh Air Weekend: Questlove, Elisabeth Moss And 'Claire DeWitt'

Originally published on Sat July 6, 2013 11:54 am

In his new memoir, Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson describes his life in music — and how he mimicked beats at just 10 months old.
Danny Clinch Grand Central Publishing

Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:

Read more

11:03am

Fri July 5, 2013
Movie Interviews

'Quartet': Dustin Hoffman, Behind The Camera

Dustin Hoffman made his directorial debut with the film Quartet. He has starred in such classics as The Graduate, Kramer vs. Kramer and Tootsie.
Kerry Brown The Weinstein Company

This interview was originally broadcast on Jan. 16, 2013.

In December, the actor Dustin Hoffman sat in a box seat at the Kennedy Center as his old friend, Robert De Niro, saluted him at a celebration marking one of the highest accolades for an artist in the United States: a Kennedy Center Honor.

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