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: 53 min 5 sec ago

Snark Aside, Julie Klausner Says 'Difficult People' Is Inspired By Love

Tue, 08/16/2016 - 12:26pm

Klausner plays an unsuccessful comic who quips about celebrities in her Hulu series. She says that she and her co-star Billy Eichner bonded over their shared love of show business and pop culture.

'Trials Of The Earth' Shows The Good, The Bad And The Ugly Of Pioneer Life

Mon, 08/15/2016 - 2:00pm

Born in Arkansas around 1866, Mary Mann Hamilton was one of the first women to homestead in the Mississippi Delta. Critic Maureen Corrigan calls her memoir a historical and literary treasure.

Creamed, Canned And Frozen: How The Great Depression Revamped U.S. Diets

Mon, 08/15/2016 - 1:57pm

During the Depression, cheap, nutritious and filling food was prioritized — often at the expense of taste. Jane Ziegelman and Andy Coe, authors of A Square Meal, discuss food trends of the time.

Fresh Air Weekend: Meryl Streep; A Novel Take On Gymnastics; Colson Whitehead

Sat, 08/13/2016 - 8:00am

Streep discusses singing badly in her new film, Florence Foster Jenkins. Maureen Corrigan reviews You Will Know Me, by Megan Abbott. Whitehead's Underground Railroad is a literal train to freedom.

Robbers And Rangers Collide In 'Hell Or High Water'

Fri, 08/12/2016 - 12:15pm

Two masked robbers clean out small branches of a Texas bank in David Mackenzie's new neo-Western. Critic David Edelstein calls Hell or High Water a work of "broad scale and deep feeling."

From Gladiator Duels To Caesar's Last Words: The Myths Of Ancient Rome

Fri, 08/12/2016 - 12:15pm

Historian Mary Beard says many of our popular notions about the empire are based on culture rather than fact. Her new book is called SPQR. Originally broadcast Nov. 30, 2015.

Inside The Islamic State's Movement To Spread Terror 'All Over The World'

Thu, 08/11/2016 - 1:24pm

New York Times reporter Rukmini Callimachi says ISIS' recruiting efforts focus on both the "mentally unwell" and those who have been "radicalized since birth."

'It's A Playground': Meryl Streep On Acting With Abandon

Wed, 08/10/2016 - 1:30pm

In her new film, Streep plays Florence Foster Jenkins, a socialite who didn't let her less-than-great voice stop her from becoming an opera singer. Streep says she can relate to that kind of passion.

From Brexit To The U.S. Presidential Race, Musicians Respond To Political Turmoil

Tue, 08/09/2016 - 12:19pm

Critic Ken Tucker reviews new music by the British punk band The Mekons and the American country-rock band The Mavericks. Both groups have recorded new songs that were inspired by recent news events.

Jacqueline Woodson's 'Brooklyn' Is Full Of Dreams And Danger

Tue, 08/09/2016 - 12:19pm

The National Book Award winner's new novel is based in part on her memories of growing up in Brooklyn in the 1970s. Woodson describes the teen years as an "amazing and urgent moment" in life.

Novel Explores The Fierce And Frenzied World Of Competitive Gymnastics

Mon, 08/08/2016 - 2:01pm

Megan Abbott's new book takes readers deep into the intense, vacuum-sealed universe of young female gymnasts and their parents. Critic Maureen Corrigan says You Will Know Me is worthy of a gold medal.

Colson Whitehead's 'Underground Railroad' Is A Literal Train To Freedom

Mon, 08/08/2016 - 2:01pm

As a child, Whitehead was surprised to learn that escaped slaves did not ride an actual subway. His new novel follows Cora, a young slave who has escaped a Georgia plantation and is heading north.

Fresh Air Weekend: Jay McInerney; Düsseldorf's Musical Influence; Comic Ali Wong

Sat, 08/06/2016 - 8:00am

McInerney discusses his new novel, Bright, Precious Days. Rock historian Ed Ward describes the origins of the new German wave of music. Wong says marriage and motherhood are a "source of power."

'Little Men' Combines Stark Economic Realities With Hope For A Better Future

Fri, 08/05/2016 - 12:20pm

As their parents engage in a bitter real-estate dispute, the friendship between two adolescent boys deepens in Ira Sach's new film. Critic David Edelstein calls Little Men "quietly devastating."

What Etgar Keret Learned From His Father About Storytelling And Survival

Fri, 08/05/2016 - 12:20pm

Keret's memoir, The Seven Good Years, spans the time between the birth of his son and the death of his father, who was a Holocaust survivor. Originally broadcast June 16, 2015.

For James Corden, 'Carpool Karaoke' Has Been An Incredible Ride

Thu, 08/04/2016 - 1:07pm

The Late Late Show host talks about belting out songs with celebrities like Elton John, Steve Wonder and Adele. He tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross he doesn't know what he did to deserve this great gig.

Singer-Songwriter Joan Shelley On Sky Diving And Stage Fright

Thu, 08/04/2016 - 1:07pm

While on tour for her album, Over and Even, Shelley stopped by WHYY to play some of her songs along with accompanist Nathan Salsburg. She tells Fresh Air's Sam Briger she's always wanted to perform.

Whose Side Was She On? 'American Heiress' Revisits Patty Hearst's Kidnapping

Wed, 08/03/2016 - 12:28pm

Hearst was abducted in 1974 and then declared allegiance to her captors. Legal expert Jeffrey Toobin does not believe Hearst was brainwashed, but rather, "responded rationally to the circumstances."

A Neuroscientist Explores The Illogical Behaviors Of The Mind In 'Idiot Brain'

Tue, 08/02/2016 - 11:20am

Dean Burnett says the human brain is like a computer that files information in a way that defies logic. According to Burnett, brains can alter memory, cause motion sickness and affect intelligence.

Marriage And Motherhood Are A 'Source Of Power,' Says Comic Ali Wong

Tue, 08/02/2016 - 11:20am

Wong was 7 1/2 months pregnant when she filmed her first comedy special, Baby Cobra. She says that the birth of her daughter changed her career for the better.

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