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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2:50pm

Wed March 26, 2014
Book Reviews

'Redeployment' Explores Iraq War's Physical And Psychic Costs

Originally published on Wed March 26, 2014 8:13 pm

Joe Raedle Getty Images

Here's an old joke you may have heard: "How many Vietnam vets does it take to screw in a light bulb?" Answer: "You wouldn't know, you weren't there."

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2:05pm

Tue March 25, 2014
Europe

How Crimea's Annexation Plays To Russians' Soviet Nostalgia

Originally published on Tue March 25, 2014 9:13 pm

An activist carries a Russian flag during a rally on Sunday in eastern Ukraine.
Sergei Grits AP

According to political scientist Kimberly Marten, Russia's decision to annex Crimea from Ukraine may have changed its relationship with the outside world for many years to come.

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2:05pm

Tue March 25, 2014
Book Reviews

'Thief' Delivers An Unfiltered Depiction Of Life In Lagos

Originally published on Tue March 25, 2014 3:07 pm

Derrick Ceyrac AFP/Getty Images

Let's get the negative stuff out of the way first. Teju Cole's Every Day Is For The Thief is not much of a novel. Forget plot or character development: This is a piece of writing that's all about setting. If you take what Cole is offering here and value it on its own terms, you'll probably appreciate the curious magic at work in this slim not-quite-a-novel. In chapters that stand as separate, short vignettes, Every Day Is For The Thief describes a young New York doctor's visit back to his hometown of Lagos, Nigeria.

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2:14pm

Mon March 24, 2014
Music Reviews

After A Painful Year, Bud Powell's Triumpant 1953 Return

Bud Powell pioneered bebop-style improvisation on the piano.
Metronome Getty Images

The great bebop pianist Bud Powell played several engagements at the New York jazz club Birdland in 1953. Parts of his shows were broadcast on the radio, and one listener recorded some onto acetate discs. A new collection of those recordings is out now: Birdland 1953 on three CDs from ESP-Disk'. The sound quality isn't much, but the music is terrific.

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2:14pm

Mon March 24, 2014
Author Interviews

New Yorker Cartoon Editor Explores What Makes Us Get It

Originally published on Mon March 24, 2014 4:43 pm

Bob Mankoff/The New Yorker Collection/CondΓ© Nast

Bob Mankoff has been contributing cartoons to The New Yorker ever since 1977 and now, as cartoon editor, he evaluates more than 500 cartoons submitted to the magazine each week.

Mankoff is proud of the many cartoons that have been published under his aegis. "Sometimes I take my aegis out of my drawer just to admire it," he writes.

His most well-known cartoon shows an executive looking at his desk calendar, saying to someone on the phone: "No, Thursday's out. How about never β€” is never good for you?"

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11:53am

Sat March 22, 2014
Fresh Air Weekend

Fresh Air Weekend: 'Blood Will Out,' An Opera Powerhouse And A Reading

Originally published on Sat March 22, 2014 12:07 pm

When hitting a high note, mezzo-soprano Dolora Zajick says, "You have to have support. You have to have resonance. People have to understand what you're saying."
David Sauer 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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10:13am

Fri March 21, 2014
Interviews

Criminologist Believes Violent Behavior Is Biological

Originally published on Fri March 21, 2014 2:09 pm

Adrian Raine has studied the brains of violent criminals, including that of serial killer Randy Kraft, aka the "Freeway Killer."
University of Southern California

This interview originally aired on April 30, 2013.

Twenty years ago, when brain imaging made it possible for researchers to study the minds of violent criminals and compare them to the brain imaging of "normal" people, a whole new field of research β€” neurocriminology β€” opened up.

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10:13am

Fri March 21, 2014
Movie Reviews

'Nymphomaniac': Chasing Sex, But Only On Her Terms

Originally published on Fri March 21, 2014 2:09 pm

Felicity Gilbert, Shia LaBeouf and Stacy Martin in one of the episodic flashbacks that spin out the story of Nymphomaniac: Volume I.
Christian Geisnaes Magnolia Pictures

Lars von Trier's latest provocation is an episodic sexual epic called Nymphomaniac, which comes in two two-hour parts, or "volumes," though it's basically one movie sliced in half. The thinking must have been, "Who wants four hours of hardcore sex and philosophizing?," and if you say, "Me, me!," I suggest seeing both back to back: It's an art-house orgy!

Should you see it at all? I recommend it guardedly. It's dumb, but in a bold, ambitious way movies mostly aren't these days, especially when there's sex in the equation. And it's funny, sometimes intentionally.

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5:35pm

Thu March 20, 2014
Music Reviews

Sara Evans: Country Power Ballads With A Punch

Sara Evans.
Robert Ascroft Courtesy of the artist

5:35pm

Thu March 20, 2014
Food

'Test Kitchen': Have Your (Gluten-Free) Cake, And Love Eating It Too

Originally published on Fri March 21, 2014 11:06 am

According to America's Test Kitchen, the best gluten-free flours to bake with contain four ingredients β€” brown rice flour, white rice flour, potato starch and tapioca starch.
Courtesy of America's Test Kitchen

It took hundreds of batches of muffins, cakes and cookies before Jack Bishop and Julia Collin Davison β€” of the public TV series America's Test Kitchen β€” figured out the best ways to make delicious baked goods without gluten. They also conducted taste tests of packaged gluten-free breads and pasta.

Collin Davison tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross that the show's normal testing procedures "really worked to help us get at the heart of what makes gluten-free things taste just as good as traditional baked goods."

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2:37pm

Wed March 19, 2014
Television

When Your Best Friend Is A Star β€” And You're Her Minion

Originally published on Wed March 19, 2014 3:29 pm

Dolly Wells (left) and Emily Mortimer have been real-life friends since childhood. Now they're co-starring in an inside-showbiz comedy airing on HBO.
HBO

HBO has done very well in the past with comedy series that explore and expose the inner workings of show business, from Garry Shandling in The Larry Sanders Show to Ricky Gervais in Extras. Wednesday night, the network presents its newest entry in that self-obsessed Hollywood genre: Doll & Em, a British comedy series that's a vanity production in the most literal sense of the word.

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2:37pm

Wed March 19, 2014
Deceptive Cadence

For Opera Powerhouse Dolora Zajick, 'Singing Is Connected To The Body'

Originally published on Wed March 19, 2014 3:29 pm

When hitting a high note, mezzo-soprano Dolora Zajick says, "You have to have support. You have to have resonance. People have to understand what you're saying."
David Sauer Courtesy of the artist

Dolora Zajick discovered opera as a 22-year-old pre-med student. "That's when I discovered I had a voice," she tells Fresh Air host Terry Gross, "and I actually had a crack at a singing career. And I decided to take the chance."

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1:45pm

Tue March 18, 2014
Music Interviews

Jazz Composer Tries Something New With 'A Trumpet In The Morning'

Originally published on Sun March 23, 2014 11:46 am

Transcript

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. Marty Ehrlich is a jazz composer who plays clarinet and saxophones. But he doesn't play much on his latest album. He conducts his large ensemble performing his compositions. It's his first album devoted to his orchestral music.

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1:45pm

Tue March 18, 2014
Author Interviews

Cannibals And Colonialism: Solving The Mystery Of Michael Rockefeller

Originally published on Tue March 18, 2014 5:14 pm

Michael Rockefeller, the youngest son of New York Gov. Nelson Rockefeller, was reported missing on Nov. 21, 1961
AP

In 1961, the 23-year-old son of one of America's wealthiest families disappeared in a remote coastal area off the island of New Guinea in the South Pacific, a region inhabited by the Asmat, a tribe known to engage in headhunting and cannibalism.

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1:45pm

Tue March 18, 2014
Book Reviews

What U.S. Learned From 'Heathen School' Wasn't Part Of The Lesson Plan

Originally published on Wed March 19, 2014 9:51 am

Picture this. You're a young girl, living in a remote town in Connecticut in 1825. You've taken refuge in a neighbor's house and, as night falls, you peek out a window to see your friends and family members assembling outdoors around two crude paintings: One is of a young white woman (you); the other painting is of a man, a Native American.

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1:52pm

Mon March 17, 2014
Author Interviews

Author Penelope Lively Shares 'The View From Old Age'

Penelope Lively's other books include A Stitch In Time, Astercote and The Road To Lichfield.
Robbin Matthew Photography Courtesy of Viking

Penelope Lively describes her latest book, Dancing Fish And Ammonites, as "not quite a memoir," but rather "the view from old age," a subject she says she can report on with some authority β€” Monday is the British writer's 81st birthday.

Lively was born in Egypt, where her father was working at the time. She and her mother fled the country during World War II. When she was 12, in 1945, Lively was sent to live with her grandmothers in England.

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1:52pm

Mon March 17, 2014
Remembrances

'Fresh Air' Remembers Comedian David Brenner

David Brenner performs at the Riviera Hotel in Las Vegas in 1981.
Las Vegas News Bureau AP

Comedian David Brenner became a star in the 1970s, with the help of The Tonight Show. He made his first appearance with Johnny Carson in 1971 and returned to the show more than 150 times, often as the substitute host. He also had his own short-lived late night show in the mid '80s.

Brenner died Saturday at 78. He grew up in Philadelphia, where Fresh Air is produced, and spoke to Terry Gross in 1990.


Interview Highlights

On how he started doing observational comedy

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2:25pm

Sat March 15, 2014
Interviews

Fresh Air Weekend: Wes Anderson, Driverless Cars And 'Overwhelmed'

Originally published on Thu March 20, 2014 10:09 am

Wes Anderson shot the Grand Budapest Hotel's lobby scenes in a department store on the German-Polish border.
Courtesy of Fox Searchlight Pictures

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

2:06pm

Fri March 14, 2014
Television

NBC Hostage Drama 'Crisis' Takes Viewers On A Rare TV Trip

Originally published on Fri March 14, 2014 4:44 pm

Lance Gross plays Marcus Finley. Think of him as the show's Jack Bauer.
Vivian Zink NBC

When I slipped in the preview DVD to watch the opening episodes of NBC's new drama series Crisis, which premieres Sunday, I have to admit I wasn't expecting much. Oh, there was some anticipation in seeing Gillian Anderson of The X-Files in a series lead again; but I wasn't sure whether we'd be getting the demand-your-attention actress from such marvelous British imports as Great Expectations and Bleak House, or the underused supporting actress from NBC's Hannibal.

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2:06pm

Fri March 14, 2014
Interviews

In Digestion: Mary Roach Explains What Happens To The Food We Eat

Mary Roach is also the author of Stiff, Bonk, Packing for Mars and Spook.
Chris Hardy W.W. Norton & Co.

This interview originally aired on March 26, 2013.

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3:52pm

Thu March 13, 2014
Around the Nation

For Sandy Hook Killer's Father, Tragedy Outweighs Love For His Son

Originally published on Thu March 13, 2014 5:46 pm

Adam Lanza killed 20 children and six teachers Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newton, Conn., in 2012. His father has spoken to the media for the first time since the incident.
Jason DeCrow AP

We still don't know why Adam Lanza killed his mother, then 20 children and six teachers at Sandy Hook Elementary School before turning a gun on himself in December 2012. But we do know more about Lanza's life, what his doctors had to say about him and what his parents did to try to help him.

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12:56pm

Wed March 12, 2014
Music Reviews

Box Set Illustrates Clifford Jordan's Impeccable Taste In Musicians

Originally published on Wed March 12, 2014 2:05 pm

Transcript

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. Starting in the late 1960s, jazz saxophonist Clifford Jordan produced a series of recordings mostly by other leaders that came out on the musician's own Strata-East label. Those seven albums are now collected in a box set. Jazz critic Kevin Whitehead says Jordan the producer had impeccable taste in musicians.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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12:56pm

Wed March 12, 2014
Books

A Poetry Reading: 'To My Oldest Friend, Whose Silence Is Like A Death'

Originally published on Wed March 12, 2014 2:59 pm

Fresh Air's classical music critic Lloyd Schwartz is also a poet. He recently published a poem about friendship and loss on Poets.org. It's titled "To My Oldest Friend, Whose Silence Is Like A Death:"

In today's paper, a story about our high school drama
teacher evicted from his Carnegie Hall rooftop apartment

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12:56pm

Wed March 12, 2014
Movie Interviews

Wes Anderson: 'We Made A Pastiche' Of Eastern Europe's Greatest Hits

Originally published on Wed March 12, 2014 5:58 pm

Wes Anderson shot the Grand Budapest Hotel's lobby scenes in a department store on the German-Polish border.
Courtesy of Fox Searchlight Pictures

Wes Anderson's new film The Grand Budapest Hotel begins with an author looking back on his work, explaining how he came to write a book about a hotel. The film has a story within a story within a story β€” but most of it is set in the late 1930s in the fictional central European country of Zubrowka on the eve of war.

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1:31pm

Tue March 11, 2014
Music Reviews

Angel Olsen: A Voice Of Confounding Power

Angel Olsen.
Zia Anger Courtesy of the artist

Angel Olsen begins the song "Hi-Five" by paraphrasing Hank Williams, admitting she's so lonesome she could cry. She goes on to say she just wants someone who believes in love as urgently as she does. The twanging guitar throbbing beneath these sentiments suggests that it's going to be a long, lonely search. Over a matter of minutes, Olsen has created the landscape she'll inhabit for an entire album.

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1:31pm

Tue March 11, 2014
Author Interviews

For Working Moms, Key To Balance May Lie In Elusive Leisure Time

Originally published on Wed March 12, 2014 5:33 pm

fourthexposure iStockphoto

If your to-do list is so long that you are overwhelmed just looking at it, and if your list has you mentally racing back and forth between your responsibilities to your children and your job, what Brigid Schulte has to say may be helpful.

Overwhelmed: Work, Love and Play When No One Has the Time is about the pressures on working mothers and fathers that lead to a constantly racing heart, consuming guilt and the certainty that they've become inadequate at home and at work.

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1:45pm

Mon March 10, 2014
Author Interviews

'Blood Will Out' Reveals Secrets Of A Murderous Master Manipulator

Originally published on Mon March 10, 2014 3:02 pm

The FBI pulled fingerprints off decades-old immigration papers to find Clark Rockefeller's true identity.
Lisa Poole AP

Let's say you meet a Rockefeller β€” Clark Rockefeller β€” and suddenly you have this connection to a world of wealth and privilege. Or so you think, because one day you find out he's an imposter. And not just an imposter β€” a murderer.

That's what happened to Walter Kirn, and Kirn's a smart guy β€” he's a journalist and the author of two novels that have been adapted into films, Up In The Air and Thumbsucker. How he was deceived, and what the consequences were, is the subject of Kirn's new memoir, Blood Will Out.

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12:05pm

Sat March 8, 2014
Interviews

Fresh Air Weekend: WWII Filmmakers, Kevin Young And Solitary Confinement

Originally published on Thu March 20, 2014 10:10 am

Maj. Frank Capra sits at his War Department desk in Washington on March 6, 1942. Capra's non-War Department films include It's A Wonderful Life and Mr. Smith Goes To Washington.
AP

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

4:02pm

Fri March 7, 2014
Remembrances

Fresh Air Remembers Surgeon And 'How We Die' Author Sherwin Nuland

Originally published on Fri March 7, 2014 4:46 pm

Transcript

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. Because he was a doctor, Sherwin Nuland witnessed many deaths, including those in his own family. Dr. Nuland - who was a surgeon - was the author of "How We Die," an influential book about dying, which won a National Book Award. It was published in 1994. Twenty years after his book was published, Dr. Nuland himself died on Monday at his home in Connecticut from prostate cancer. He was 83.

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4:02pm

Fri March 7, 2014
Interviews

'Americanah' Author Explains 'Learning' To Be Black In The U.S.

Originally published on Fri March 7, 2014 4:46 pm

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's short fiction has appeared in The New Yorker and Granta. She is also the author of the novels Purple Hibiscus and Half of A Yellow Sun.
Little, Brown and Co.

This interview was originally broadcast on June 27, 2013.

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