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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: 54 min 15 sec ago

Richard Russo Returns To North Bath, NY, In 'Everybody's Fool'

Mon, 05/09/2016 - 12:17pm

The Pulitzer-Prize winning author of Empire Falls says his characters are inspired by his parents' working-class World War II generation. Russo's new novel is set in a small town in upstate New York.

Fresh Air Weekend: A Personal History Of L.A. Punk; Comic Jerrod Carmichael

Sat, 05/07/2016 - 8:00am

John Doe, Exene Cervenka and Dave Alvin of X discuss punk's early days. Jerrod Carmichael says that the complicated family debates on his NBC comedy series are inspired by real life.

Power Trio Mixes Old And New, And The Result Is 'Perfection'

Fri, 05/06/2016 - 2:40pm

Jazz stars David Murray, Geri Allen and Terri Lyne Carrington first played together last year in New York. Now they come together with the new album, Perfection. Critic Kevin Whitehead has a review.

Superheroes Engage In All Out 'Civil War' In The Latest 'Captain America' Film

Fri, 05/06/2016 - 2:40pm

The new movie from Marvel Studios features almost all the members of the Avengers superhero collective. Critic David Edelstein calls it an irresistible hodgepodge of special effects and superheroes.

After 20 Years On The Job, NYC Police Officer Tells His Intense Stories

Fri, 05/06/2016 - 2:40pm

"Your heart is pounding; your adrenaline is shooting out of your ears," retired police officer Steve Osborne says. "And you got one second to get it right." Originally broadcast April 21, 2015.

Beyoncé Is 'At The Height Of Her Powers' In 'Lemonade'

Thu, 05/05/2016 - 12:37pm

The pop star's latest release extols the potency of black womanhood in the roles of mother, wife, lover and artist. Rock critic Ken Tucker calls Lemonade a feat of "invention and imagination."

Newly Released Documents Detail Traumas Of China's Cultural Revolution

Thu, 05/05/2016 - 12:37pm

Historian Frank Dikötter says newly opened archives offer fresh details about the chaos China experienced in the 1960s, when Chairman Mao urged students to take to the streets.

To Play Sports Under Taliban Rule, 'Different Kind Of Daughter' Dressed As A Boy

Wed, 05/04/2016 - 12:16pm

Growing up in the tribal region of Pakistan, Maria Toorpakai pretended she was a boy in order to compete as a weightlifter. Later she became an internationally known squash player.

From 'Once' To 'Sing Street': Director John Carney Infuses Movies With Music

Wed, 05/04/2016 - 12:16pm

The Irish director and screenwriter talks to Fresh Air's Ann Marie Baldonado about his new film, which tells the story of a young teenager in 1980s Dublin who discovers pop music and starts a band.

Remembering Jesuit Priest And Anti-War Activist Daniel Berrigan

Tue, 05/03/2016 - 3:04pm

Berrigan, who died Sunday, was a leading figure in the Catholic left. He and his brother Philip served prison time for burning draft cards to protest the Vietnam War. Originally broadcast in 1988.

Larry Wilmore On 'Breaking Taboos' At The White House Correspondents' Dinner

Tue, 05/03/2016 - 3:04pm

The Nightly Show host discusses his controversial performance at Saturday's event. He tells Fresh Air that his use of the N-word was an artistic decision.

A Personal History Of L.A. Punk: 'It Was A Free-For-All For Outcasts'

Mon, 05/02/2016 - 2:15pm

John Doe, Exene Cervenka and Dave Alvin of X join Fresh Air to discuss punk's early days. "Anybody could belong to punk that wanted to be there," Cervenka says. "[It] didn't matter how old you were."

Fresh Air Weekend: Questlove; 'Elvis & Nixon'; Tom Hanks

Sat, 04/30/2016 - 8:00am

The Roots' drummer Questlove discusses the artistry involved in creating a great meal. Critic David Edelstein reviews Elvis & Nixon. Tom Hanks discusses his new movie, A Hologram for the King.

Remembering Harry Wu, 'Troublemaker' For The Chinese Communist Party

Fri, 04/29/2016 - 12:29pm

Wu, who survived 19 years in Chinese labor camps, died Tuesday. Born in China, Wu had lived in the United States since 1985 and was an active proponent of human rights. Originally broadcast in 1994.

A White House Meeting Brings Together 2 Lost Souls In 'Elvis & Nixon'

Fri, 04/29/2016 - 12:29pm

A new film imagines what happened when Elvis Presley met President Nixon on Dec. 21, 1970. Film critic David Edelstein says Elvis & Nixon "shows the crazy-making insulation of celebrity."

Musicians Pay Tribute To Blind Willie Johnson On 'God Don't Never Change'

Fri, 04/29/2016 - 12:29pm

A range of musicians, including Tom Waits and Sinéad O'Connor, cover gospel-blues performer Johnson on a new tribute album. Critic Milo Miles says the record's tracks are striking and inventive.

'New Yorker' Cartoonist And TV Producer Writes 'Honest Portrait' Of His Parents

Fri, 04/29/2016 - 12:29pm

Bruce Eric Kaplan's illustrated memoir I Was A Child describes his life in New Jersey in the '60s and '70s. He says the book is a way of keeping his parents alive. Originally broadcast April 2, 2015.

Jazz Legend Sonny Rollins Revisits Past Performances With 'Holding The Stage'

Thu, 04/28/2016 - 1:22pm

The 85-year-old saxophonist's new album features live recordings made between 1979 and 2012. Jazz critic Kevin Whitehead calls Holding The Stage a "mixed bag" with a few "real gems."

Mother And Daughter Come Together At The Card Table In 'The Bridge Ladies'

Thu, 04/28/2016 - 1:22pm

Betsy Lerner writes about joining her 83-year-old mother's weekly bridge club in her new book. Critic Maureen Corrigan calls The Bridge Ladies a "smart and colorful memoir."

If 'Carmichael Show' Topics Feel Uncomfortable, That's Because They're Real

Thu, 04/28/2016 - 1:07pm

Jerrod Carmichael says that the complicated family debates on his NBC comedy series are inspired by real life. "I grew up in a household that's very argumentative ... in a very healthy way," he says.

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