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: 29 min 35 sec ago

'Born Trump' Examines The 'Emotional Hold' The President Has On His Family

Thu, 06/21/2018 - 2:44pm

Journalist Emily Jane Fox focused on Trump's three marriages and five children when writing her new book. "His presence is overwhelming," she says of the president's role in the family.

(Image credit: Alex Wong/Getty Images)

2 Books Find Fuel In The American Landscape

Thu, 06/21/2018 - 2:14pm

Critic Maureen Corrigan recommends two books to expand your horizons: One is a cultural history of the great American road trip; the other an early 20th-century classic of Midwestern rural life.

(Image credit: CSA Images/Snapstock/Getty Images/CSA Images RF)

2 First-Rate Novels Celebrate The Humor And Heroism Of Unconventional Women

Wed, 06/20/2018 - 12:54pm

Authors Dorthe Nors and Sayaka Murata use bracing good humor to subvert readers' expectations about single women in their new novels, Mirror, Shoulder, Signal and Convenience Store Woman.

Novelist Stephen McCauley Embraces Life On A 'Small, Everyday Scale'

Wed, 06/20/2018 - 12:54pm

McCauley's novel, My Ex-Life, is a comedy about a couple whose marriage ended years ago when the husband came out as gay. "All relationships evolve — even for people who stay together," he says.

Father John Misty Mixes Egotism And Humor On 'God's Favorite Customer'

Tue, 06/19/2018 - 12:39pm

Critic Ken Tucker says Father John Misty's new album offers a "roundabout, melancholy" acknowledgement of the artistic selfishness that often accompanies confessional songwriting.

Journalist Warns Cyber Attacks Present A 'Perfect Weapon' Against Global Order

Tue, 06/19/2018 - 12:39pm

New York Times national security correspondent David Sanger says U.S. officials worry that foreign powers have planted malware that could knock out critical infrastructure, including electric power.

John Prine On Music, Cancer And Why He Never Thought He'd Be A Recording Artist

Mon, 06/18/2018 - 12:27pm

The singer, songwriter and guitarist underwent surgeries in 1996 and 2013 that affected his throat and voice. He likes his voice better now: "It dropped down lower and feels friendlier."

Pithy And Pointed 'There There' Puts Native American Voices Front And Center

Mon, 06/18/2018 - 12:00pm

Critic Maureen Corrigan says Tommy Orange's novel, which centers on a cast of native and mixed-race characters whose lives intersect at a powwow, features "a literary authority rare in a debut."

(Image credit: Samantha Clark/NPR)

Fresh Air Weekend: Paul Schrader And Ethan Hawke On 'First Reformed'; Michael Chabon

Sat, 06/16/2018 - 8:00am

Shrader and Hawke discuss their new film about a minister who is having a crisis of faith. Justin Chang reviews The Incredibles 2. Chabon writes about fatherhood in Pops.

Remembering D.J. Fontana, The Drummer For Elvis Presley's Band

Fri, 06/15/2018 - 12:38pm

Fontana, who died Wednesday, played on some of Presley's biggest hits, including "Blue Suede Shoes," "Hound Dog" and "All Shook Up." Originally broadcast in 1987.

Remembering War Photographer David Douglas Duncan

Fri, 06/15/2018 - 12:38pm

Duncan, who died at 102, was a Marine officer and combat photographer during World War II. Later he photographed the wars in Korea and Vietnam. Originally broadcast in 1990.

A Filmmaker's 'Quest' For A Quiet Family Portrait Is Pierced By Unforeseen Trauma

Fri, 06/15/2018 - 12:38pm

Jonathan Olshefski spent 10 years filming Christopher Rainey and his family, who run a recording studio in North Philadelphia. Then their daughter was shot. Originally broadcast Dec. 20, 2017.

'Incredibles 2' Zips Seamlessly Between Domestic Comedy And Death-Defying Action

Thu, 06/14/2018 - 1:37pm

The sequel to the 2004 animated hit continues the superheroic adventures of Mr. Incredible, Elastigirl and their three gifted children. Critic Justin Chang calls the film "gorgeous" and "touching."

Snail Mail Delivers Sturdy Guitar Riffs And Soaring Vocals On 'Lush'

Thu, 06/14/2018 - 1:37pm

Eighteen-year-old Lindsey Jordan, who records under the name Snail Mail, has been playing guitar for 13 years. This combination of youth and experience creates a distinctive sound on her new album.

Remembering Jill Ker Conway, The First Female President Of Smith College

Thu, 06/14/2018 - 1:37pm

The women's history scholar, who died June 1, grew up on a remote Australian sheep farm and later went on to write three memoirs, including True North. Conway spoke to Fresh Air in 1989, '94 and '98.

Pianist Shamie Royston Brings A Hard-Swinging Brand Of Jazz To 'Beautiful Liar'

Wed, 06/13/2018 - 1:07pm

Royston is a trained composer who knows how to manipulate her materials all sorts of ways. Critic Kevin Whitehead says the music on Beautiful Liar is "sleek and sturdy" and "made to be played."

How Taking A Stand For Justice Can Threaten The Careers Of Black Athletes

Wed, 06/13/2018 - 1:07pm

Journalist Howard Bryant discusses the history of social protest among African-American athletes. His new book, The Heritage, traces the tradition back to Jackie Robinson, Muhammad Ali and others.

Paul Schrader And Ethan Hawke Test Their Faith In 'First Reformed'

Tue, 06/12/2018 - 12:48pm

Ethan Hawke's performance is purposefully understated in the film written and directed by Paul Schrader. At 47, Hawke has "a number of lessons in his face that he doesn't have to act," Schrader says.

(Image credit: Photo courtesy of A24)

2 First-Rate Suspense Novels Deliver Chills, Thrills — And Stunning Endgames

Mon, 06/11/2018 - 3:05pm

In the relaxed days of summer, critic Maureen Corrigan reflexively reaches for a mystery. This year, she's settling in with The Dime, by Kathleen Kent, and The Death of Mrs. Westaway, by Ruth Ware.

A Science Writer Explores The 'Perversions And Potential' Of Genetic Tests

Mon, 06/11/2018 - 1:43pm

Carl Zimmer wondered what secrets lurked in his genetic code — so he decided to have his genome sequenced. He writes about the implications of the study of genetics in She Has Her Mother's Laugh.

(Image credit: Westend61/Getty Images)

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