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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2:40pm

Mon October 15, 2012
Movie Interviews

Tyler Perry Transforms: From Madea To Family Man

Tyler Perry is currently starring in the new action thriller Alex Cross, which opens in theaters on Friday.
Sidney Baldwin 2012 Summit Entertainment LLC

Whenever Tyler Perry is in front of the camera, he's usually behind it as well. A screenwriter, director, producer and star, Perry grew up poor in New Orleans, but he has become a movie phenomenon — he was described in the New Yorker as the most financially successful black man the American film industry has ever known.

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1:11pm

Mon October 15, 2012
Music Reviews

More Than This: The 'Complete' Roxy Music

Originally published on Mon October 15, 2012 2:40 pm

Roxy Music's eight studio albums are now collected in one box set, titled The Complete Studio Recordings 1972-1982.
Keystone Hulton Archive

Roxy Music's eight studio albums have just been collected in one box set, titled The Complete Studio Recordings 1972-1982.

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9:03am

Sat October 13, 2012
Fresh Air Weekend

Fresh Air Weekend: Tig Notaro, Louis C.K., Nate Silver

Originally published on Mon October 15, 2012 2:22 pm

Comedian Tig Notaro dealt with a cancer diagnosis the best way she knew how — with humor.
tignation.com

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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1:01pm

Fri October 12, 2012
Movie Reviews

'Argo': Too Good To Be True, Because It Isn't

CIA agents Tony Mendez (Ben Affleck) and Jack O'Donnell (Bryan Cranston) plan a risky mission to save six Americans trapped in Iran.
Claire Folger Warner Bros. Pictures

Ben Affleck's Argo is two-two-TWO movies in one, and while neither is especially original, by merging them Affleck pulls off a coup. First, he gives you espionage with the You Are There zing of a documentary. Then he serves up broad showbiz satire. For his final feat, he blends the two into a pulse-pounding nail-biter of a climax. And this all really happened. Most of it. Except for that climax.

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10:45am

Fri October 12, 2012
Author Interviews

The Man Who Tracks Viruses Before They Spread

Originally published on Fri October 12, 2012 12:53 pm

H1N1 virus virons appear in a tissue sample.

C. Goldsmith and D. Rollin CDC Public Health Image Library

This interview was originally broadcast on Oct. 11, 2011. The Viral Storm will be published in paperback on Oct. 16.

The New Yorker once called virologist Nathan Wolfe "the world's most prominent virus hunter." Wolfe, the director of the Global Viral Forecasting Initiative, spends his days tracking emerging infectious diseases before they turn into deadly pandemics.

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2:16pm

Thu October 11, 2012
Technology

In Digital War, Patents Are The Weapon Of Choice

iStockphoto.com

If you don't think of patents as a particularly exciting or interesting field, consider a point Charles Duhigg makes in his recent New York Times article, "The Patent, Used as a Sword": According to an analysis done at Stanford: "In the smartphone industry alone ... as much as $20 billion was spent on patent litigation and patent purchases in the last two years — an amount equal to eight Mars rover missions."

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1:50pm

Thu October 11, 2012
Book Reviews

'May We Be Forgiven': A Story Of Second Chances

Originally published on Thu October 11, 2012 4:58 pm

Viking Adult

A.M. Homes is a writer I'll pretty much follow anywhere because she's indeed so smart, it's scary; yet she's not without heart. It's been a while since her last book, the 2007 memoir The Mistress's Daughter, which is certainly the sharpest and most emotionally complex account of growing up adopted that I've ever read.

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12:47pm

Thu October 11, 2012
Music Reviews

Ron Miles Finds Wide-Open Spaces On 'Quiver'

Originally published on Thu October 11, 2012 3:19 pm

For Ron Miles, the better he knows how a tune works, the less he has to play to put it across.
John Spiral

Teaching jazz history got trumpeter Ron Miles deep into the pleasures of early jazz, with its clarity of form and emphasis on melodic improvising that doesn't wander far from the tune.

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1:25pm

Wed October 10, 2012
Author Interviews

'Signal' And 'Noise': Prediction As Art And Science

Originally published on Wed October 10, 2012 1:56 pm

iStockphoto.com

No one has a crystal ball, but Nate Silver has perfected the art of prediction. In 2008, he accurately predicted the presidential winner of 49 of the 50 states, and the winners of all 35 Senate races. Before he focused on elections, Silver developed a sophisticated system for analyzing baseball players' potential and became a skilled poker player — which is how he made his living for a while.

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10:14am

Wed October 10, 2012
Music Reviews

Iris DeMent's Emotionally Complex 'Sing The Delta'

Originally published on Thu October 11, 2012 3:21 pm

Sing the Delta is Iris DeMent's first album of new songs in 16 years.
Courtesy of the artist

Iris DeMent possesses one of the great voices in contemporary popular music: powerfully, ringingly clear, capable of both heartbreaking fragility and blow-your-ears-back power. Had she been making country albums in the '70s and '80s and had more commercial ambition, she'd probably now be considered right up there with Loretta Lynn and Tammy Wynette.

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2:23pm

Tue October 9, 2012
Health

When Prolonging Death Seems Worse Than Death

Originally published on Thu October 11, 2012 4:18 pm

Rudyanto Wijaya iStockphoto.com

Many of us think of death as the worst possible outcome for a terminally ill patient, but Judith Schwarz disagrees.

Schwarz, a patient supporter at the nonprofit Compassion & Choices, says prolonging death can be a far worse fate. For many patients, good palliative or hospice care can alleviate suffering, yet "a small but significant proportion of dying patients suffer intolerably," Schwarz writes.

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12:32pm

Tue October 9, 2012
Commentary

One Debate, Two Very Different Conversations

Originally published on Tue October 9, 2012 2:13 pm

President Obama and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney finish their debate at the University of Denver on Oct. 3.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

When you consider how carefully staged and planned the debates are and how long they've been around, it's remarkable how often candidates manage to screw them up. Sometimes they're undone by a simple gaffe or an ill-conceived bit of stagecraft, like Gerald Ford's slip-up about Soviet domination of eastern Europe in 1976, or Al Gore's histrionic sighing in 2000. Sometimes it's just a sign of a candidate having a bad day, like Ronald Reagan's woolly ramblings in the first debate with Walter Mondale in 1984.

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2:22pm

Mon October 8, 2012
NPR Story

Louis C.K.'s Diagnosis: 'Masterful'

Originally published on Mon October 8, 2012 10:15 pm

Transcript

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

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1:10pm

Mon October 8, 2012
NPR Story

Tig Notaro On Going 'Live' About Her Life

Originally published on Tue October 9, 2012 12:41 pm

Comedian Tig Notaro dealt with a cancer diagnosis the best way she knew how — with humor.
tignation.com

"Good evening, hello. I have cancer. How are you?"

That's how comedian Tig Notaro began her set at Largo in Los Angeles the day she was diagnosed with Stage 2 breast cancer. As she uttered those words to the audience, there was nervous laughter, weeping and total silence in response.

Comedian Louis C.K. was there that evening, and tweeted this about her performance: "In 27 years doing this, I've seen a handful of truly great, masterful standup sets. One was Tig Notaro last night at Largo."

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12:39pm

Mon October 8, 2012
NPR Story

STEPHEN COLBERT

Originally published on Tue October 9, 2012 11:20 am

The host of The Colbert Report returns to Fresh Air to talk about his new book, America Again: Re-becoming the Greatness We Never Weren't.

12:39pm

Mon October 8, 2012
NPR Story

PAUL THOMAS ANDERSON

Originally published on Wed October 10, 2012 1:58 pm

His new film The Master stars Philip Seymour Hoffman as a leader of a cult and Joaquin Phoenix as his follower. Anderson's other films include There Will Be Blood, Magnolia and Boogie Nights.

12:39pm

Mon October 8, 2012
NPR Story

"Joseph Anton"

Originally published on Wed October 10, 2012 1:58 pm

Critic-at-large John Powers has some thoughts on the British author and the publication of his new memoir, Joseph Anton, a chronicle of his time in hiding.

2:10pm

Fri October 5, 2012
The Fresh Air Interview

Interview: MacArthur 'Genius' Junot Diaz

His debut novel — The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao — won a Pulitzer Prize. He was recently named as one of the 2012 recipients of a MacArthur Fellowship. (Rebroadcast from December 2007)

1:43pm

Fri October 5, 2012
The Fresh Air Interview

At College, A 'Pitch Perfect' Musical Comedy

Originally published on Tue October 16, 2012 5:23 pm

Transcript

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

Actress Anna Kendrick was nominated for an Academy Award for her supporting role in "Up in the Air." Now she stars in the film musical, "Pitch Perfect," in which she plays a college freshman who reluctantly joins the school's illustrious all-female a cappella group. Director Jason Moore is best known for his work on the satirical Broadway musical, "Avenue Q." Film critic David Edelstein has this review of "Pitch Perfect."

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1:43pm

Fri October 5, 2012
The Fresh Air Interview

Memoirist James Wolcott Reflects On The '70s

Originally published on Tue October 16, 2012 5:23 pm

Transcript

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

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4:33pm

Thu October 4, 2012
Author Interviews

Colbert: 'Re-Becoming' The Nation We Always Were

Originally published on Tue October 9, 2012 10:56 am

Courtesy of Grand Central Publishing

Stephen Colbert has no idea how other news pundits find time to write books. But he felt certain that his character on his Comedy Central show, The Colbert Report, needed to have another one.

"My character is based on news punditry, the masters of opinion in cable news, and they all have books," he tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "We don't have time to write a book and feed and wash ourselves, so something has to go out the window. And [for me] it was family, friends and hygiene for the past year."

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11:55am

Thu October 4, 2012
Book Reviews

Roving Eyes, Wandering Hands In 'How You Lose Her'

Originally published on Thu October 4, 2012 3:58 pm

Riverhead Books

Ay-yi-yi, what is it with these Dominican men? Their hands — and eyes — never stop roving, even as they're slipping engagement rings on their true loves' fingers.

If that sounds like negative stereotyping, don't complain to me: I'm just passing along the collective cultural verdict of the women and men, most of them themselves Dominican, who hustle through Junot Diaz's latest short story collection, This Is How You Lose Her. A good man is hard to find in these stories, and when you do find him, he's always in bed with someone else.

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3:10pm

Wed October 3, 2012
Music Reviews

Low Cut Connie: The Self-Deprecating Bar Band

Originally published on Thu October 4, 2012 9:47 am

Low Cut Connie's Call Me Sylvia is as raucous as its debut, though it's a bit more self-conscious.
Courtesy of the artist

Low Cut Connie is one of an increasingly rare breed: a party band, a bar band, a band with a sense of rock 'n' roll history that isn't weighed down by nostalgia or the foolish feeling that music was better way back when. Positive fellows, for the most part, even when they're in their cups, these guys "say yes," as the title of one song goes, to a life in music. Oh, and they're also trying to get women to say yes to their craven come-ons.

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2:39pm

Wed October 3, 2012
Author Interviews

Tobolowsky: An Actor's Life 'Low On The Totem Pole'

Originally published on Tue October 9, 2012 10:37 am

Stephen Tobolowsky is an actor and writer. He also hosts the podcast The Tobolowsky Files.
Jim Britt Courtesy of Simon & Schuster

If you saw Stephen Tobolowsky on the street, you might think you know him from somewhere. The character actor has appeared in over 100 films and TV shows, with recurring roles in Heroes, Deadwood, Glee and now The Mindy Project.

In his memoir, The Dangerous Animals Club, Toboloswky charts the highs and lows of life as a character actor. Some of his roles have been so small, he says, his characters didn't even have names — as, for example, with his turn as "Buttcrack Plumber."

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1:28pm

Wed October 3, 2012
Commentary

When Words Were Worth Fighting Over

Originally published on Wed October 3, 2012 3:10 pm

In 1961, the publication of Merriam-Webster's Third International Dictionary sparked an uproar with its inclusion of the word "ain't."
Flickr User Greeblie

I have a quibble with the title of David Skinner's new book, The Story of Ain't. In fact, that pariah contraction plays only a supporting role in the story. The book is really an account of one of the oddest episodes in American cultural history, the brouhaha over the appearance of Merriam-Webster's Third International Dictionary in 1961.

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1:23pm

Tue October 2, 2012
The Fresh Air Interview

Paul Thomas Anderson, The Man Behind 'The Master'

Originally published on Tue October 9, 2012 10:38 am

Paul Thomas Anderson (left) works with actor Joaquin Phoenix on the set of The Master.
Phil Bray The Weinstein Co.

For Paul Thomas Anderson, moviemaking is not just an art; it's also about time management.

"At its best, a film set is when everybody knows what's going on and everybody's working together," he tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "At its worst, [it's] when something's been lost in communication and an actor's not sure how many shots are left or what's going on, and the makeup department's confused."

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3:52pm

Mon October 1, 2012
Music Reviews

Out Of Industrial Wasteland, The English Beat Was Born

Originally published on Mon October 1, 2012 5:40 pm

The English Beat.
Adrian Boot Urbanimage.tv

In 1978, it seemed that every kid in Britain wanted to be in a punk band. But in Birmingham, that blighted industrial scar in the middle of the island, there wasn't much punk to be seen. The oasis was a club called Barbarella's, and that's where Dave Wakeling and Andy Cox hung out.

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2:13pm

Mon October 1, 2012
The Fresh Air Interview

In Memoir, Neil Young Wages 'Heavy Peace'

Originally published on Mon October 1, 2012 4:00 pm

Neil Young.
Pegi Young

At age 66, Neil Young has taken the advice of his doctor and stopped smoking marijuana — though he's not "making any promises," he says.

The Canadian singer-songwriter and guitarist has a new memoir titled Waging Heavy Peace, in which he talks about his music, family and medical conditions, including polio, epilepsy and a brain aneurysm. In the book, he describes a particularly painful procedure he went through, which has since been banished.

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11:29am

Mon October 1, 2012
Books

Being 'Joseph Anton,' Rediscovering Salman Rushdie

Originally published on Tue October 9, 2012 10:39 am

Salman Rushdie is the author of The Satanic Verses, which inspired a fatwah calling for his death. His novel Midnight's Children has been adapted into a film that opens in the U.S. on Nov. 2.
Johannes Eisele AFP/Getty Images

In the fall of 1989, I was walking down a London street when someone handed me a flier that asked, "Should Rushdie Die?" The following afternoon, I headed over to the Royal Albert Hall to hear that question answered by a renowned Islamic scholar.

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9:03am

Sat September 29, 2012
Fresh Air Weekend

Fresh Air Weekend: J.R. Moehringer, Mindy Kaling

Originally published on Sat September 29, 2012 12:38 pm

Dr. Mindy Lahiri (Mindy Kaling) must juggle a variety of responsibilities as an obstetrician-gynecologist in the new comedy The Mindy Project.
Jordin Althaus Fox

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

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