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: 4 min 9 sec ago

Long-Term Effects Of Psychotropic Drugs Are 'Cloaked In Mystery'

Tue, 02/27/2018 - 1:21pm

When it comes to antidepressants and other psychotropic drugs, author Lauren Slater says, "We don't really know what we're taking into our bodies." Her new book is Blue Dreams.

(Image credit: Little, Brown and Company)

'Eat The Apple' Is A Brilliant And Barbed Memoir Of The Iraq War

Mon, 02/26/2018 - 2:59pm

In his experimental new memoir, Matt Young conveys the chaos of his three deployments in Iraq. Critic Maureen Corrigan calls Young "a frank, funny and mercilessly self-lacerating narrator."

(Image credit: Tara Monterosso/Bloomsbury)

Essayist Breaks Free From Conventional Relationships In 'Because I Love You'

Mon, 02/26/2018 - 2:09pm

Tim Kreider says the longest relationship of his adult life was with the stray cat. He writes about that, his fling with a sexual performance artist and much more in a new essay collection.

(Image credit: Tim Kreider/Simon and Schuster)

Fresh Air Weekend: From Survivalist Childhood To Cambridge; Actor Richard Jenkins

Sat, 02/24/2018 - 8:00am

Memoirist Tara Westover talks about growing up in a survivalist household. Critic David Bianculli calls Blue Planet II a "dazzling piece of television." Richard Jenkins discusses The Shape of Water.

(Image credit: Paul Stuart /Random House)

'Coco' Filmmakers Explore The 'Connection To Loved Ones Past'

Fri, 02/23/2018 - 1:39pm

Co-writers and co-directors Lee Unkrich and Adrian Molina spent six years creating their Oscar-nominated animated film about the Day of the Dead. Originally broadcast Jan. 10, 2018.

'Blue Planet II' Celebrates The Beauty Of Nature Across The Globe

Fri, 02/23/2018 - 1:39pm

Scientists and filmmakers capture images in unprecedented, truly breathtaking ways in the BBC nature documentary series. Critic David Bianculli calls Blue Planet II a "dazzling piece of television."

How A Russian Troll Factory Waged An Aggressive Campaign To Disrupt The U.S. Election

Thu, 02/22/2018 - 1:12pm

New York Times reporter Scott Shane discusses special counsel Robert Mueller's indictment of 13 Russians who allegedly participated in a complex social media operation to undermine the 2016 election.

Brandi Carlile Rejects Bitterness And Self Pity On 'By The Way, I Forgive You'

Thu, 02/22/2018 - 1:12pm

Carlile fills her new album with songs about forgiving the pain inflicted by lovers, parents and others. Critic Ken Tucker says the singer's music and message carry a "mighty strength."

Tense, Moody 'Golden Exits' Finds Drama In Everyday Gossip And Betrayal

Wed, 02/21/2018 - 1:07pm

Reviewer Justin Chang says "not much happens — and yet everything seems to be at stake" in Alex Ross Perry's film about six moderately unhappy Brooklynites and the visitor who interrupts their lives.

New Box Set Showcases The Reserved Style Of The Late Jazz Pianist Teddy Wilson

Wed, 02/21/2018 - 1:07pm

Wilson became famous in the 1930s, playing in Benny Goodman's small groups and recording his own combo sides with a young Billie Holiday. A new collection reveals what else Wilson was up to back then.

Actor Richard Jenkins: Reading 'Shape Of Water' Script Was A 'Holy Mackerel' Moment

Wed, 02/21/2018 - 1:07pm

Jenkins started out in theater and didn't get a movie role until he was in his 30s. Now 70, he's up for an Oscar for best supporting actor for his role in The Shape of Water.

Zadie Smith Ruminates On Brexit, Bieber And Much, Much More In 'Feel Free'

Tue, 02/20/2018 - 1:36pm

Smith's massive new essay collection covers a wide assortment of topics, but critic Maureen Corrigan says Feel Free is strongest when it focuses on art and identity.

(Image credit: Eslah Attar/NPR)

Memoirist Retraces Her Journey From Survivalist Childhood To Cambridge Ph.D.

Tue, 02/20/2018 - 12:07pm

Growing up, Tara Westover had no birth certificate, never saw a doctor and didn't go to school. She writes about her awkward transition into the mainstream in Educated: A Memoir.

(Image credit: Paul Stuart /Random House)

'Shape Of Water' Actor Explains Makeup, Body Language And Bathroom Breaks

Mon, 02/19/2018 - 11:00am

Doug Jones has made a career out of playing strange, otherworldly creatures. "I find the heart and soul of a character before I find his elbows and his hands," he says.

(Image credit: Courtesy of Fox Searchlight/Twentieth Century Fox)

It's A Beautiful 50th Birthday For 'Mister Rogers' Neighborhood'

Mon, 02/19/2018 - 11:00am

Fred Rogers debuted on national public television in 1968 and quickly became known for his deliberate manner of relating to children. "Every one of us longs to be in touch with honesty," he once said.

(Image credit: Gene J. Puskar/AP)

Fresh Air Weekend: Living With Incurable Stage-4 Cancer; Life As A Long Haul Trucker

Sat, 02/17/2018 - 8:00am

Religion scholar Kate Bowler talks about battling incurable colon cancer. Critic Ken Tucker reviews the Black Panther soundtrack. Trucker Finn Murphy has logged more than a million miles on the road.

(Image credit: Emily Bogle/NPR)

Remembering Cabaret Star Wesla Whitfield

Fri, 02/16/2018 - 2:00pm

Whitfield, who died Feb. 9, started in the San Francisco Opera in the 1970s before moving on to piano bars. She later performed regularly at New York's Algonquin Hotel. Originally broadcast in 1988.

How A Medically Induced Coma Led To Love, Marriage And The Oscar-Nominated 'Big Sick'

Fri, 02/16/2018 - 2:00pm

Comic Kumail Nanjiani didn't think of marrying then-girlfriend Emily V. Gordon until he saw her in a coma. The couple co-wrote a romantic comedy based on the story. Originally broadcast July 12, 2017.

Mythic 'Black Panther' Is A Momentous Event In Pop Culture History

Thu, 02/15/2018 - 1:25pm

As originally conceived in 1966, the Black Panther was an African king who fought crime in a high-tech panther suit. David Edelstein says Marvel's new film about the character was worth the wait.

Trump Uses MS-13 To 'Sell Draconian Overhauls Of Border Issues,' Journalist Says

Thu, 02/15/2018 - 1:25pm

New Yorker writer Jonathan Blitzer says President Trump uses the notorious gang to paint a portrait of rampant criminality among immigrants — and to frame the broader immigration debate.

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