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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: 35 min 21 sec ago

'The Big Sick' Is A Wonderful Movie And An Imperfect Milestone

Wed, 06/21/2017 - 1:39pm

Comedian Kumail Nanjiani steps into the leading role in a semi-autobiographical love story. It's a quietly groundbreaking crowd-pleaser, though some characters aren't as fully dimensional as others.

In The Event Of Attack, Here's How The Government Plans 'To Save Itself'

Wed, 06/21/2017 - 1:39pm

In Raven Rock, Garrett Graff describes the bunkers designed to protect U.S. leaders in the event of a catastrophe. One Cold War-era plan put the post office in charge of cataloging the dead.

(Image credit: Courtesy Simon & Schuster)

Sherman Alexie Says He's Been 'Indian Du Jour' For A 'Very Long Day'

Tue, 06/20/2017 - 12:45pm

Alexie is excited for a new generation of Native American writers to come on the scene, "so I don't have to answer all the questions," he says. His new memoir is You Don't Have to Say You Love Me.

(Image credit: Lee Towndrow/Little, Brown and Company)

Be Bigger, Fight Harder: Roxane Gay On A Lifetime Of 'Hunger'

Mon, 06/19/2017 - 12:15pm

Gay has finally written the book that she "wanted to write the least." The moment she realized she "never want to write about fatness" was the same moment she knew this was a memoir she had to write.

(Image credit: Jay Grabiec/HarperCollins)

Fresh Air Weekend: Seth Meyers, Joe Biden And A Defense Of Exclamation Points

Sat, 06/17/2017 - 12:29pm

For our 30th anniversary, we taped two shows before live audiences — with Late Night's Seth Meyers, and with former Vice President Joe Biden. Also, linguist Geoff Nunberg gives the ! another chance.

(Image credit: Daniel Burke)

Why 'The Mummy' Is The Most Important Bad Movie Of The Year

Fri, 06/16/2017 - 12:20pm

The lousiness of The Mummy isn't the stars' fault — it's the storytelling. Universal has announced plans to make more like it, which is scarier than anything in the movie itself.

Jay Z: The Fresh Air Interview

Fri, 06/16/2017 - 12:20pm

On Thursday, Jay Z became the first rapper to be inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. We'll listen back to his 2010 conversation with Terry Gross. Originally broadcast Nov. 16, 2010.

Biden Talks Trump, Faith And Fate In Front Of A Live 'Fresh Air' Audience

Thu, 06/15/2017 - 2:19pm

Joe Biden became a senator at 30 and this is the first time in 44 years that he hasn't been in office. He talks with Terry Gross about patterns in U.S. politics and his hopes for the Trump presidency.

(Image credit: Daniel Burke)

Two Families Cruise Toward Catastrophe In 'Do Not Become Alarmed'

Thu, 06/15/2017 - 2:19pm

Maile Meloy's novel centers on two families whose children go missing during an international vacation. Maureen Corrigan read it in two nights and says it's a "very smart work of literary fiction."

(Image credit: Liam James Doyle/NPR)

For Our 30th Anniversary, Fresh Air Tapes Live With Seth Meyers Of 'Late Night'

Wed, 06/14/2017 - 1:57pm

The SNL veteran used to ruminate over shows that didn't quite hit the mark; now the he resists the urge to look back: "It's nice to be in this place where you can be very forward focused," he says.

(Image credit: Paul Loftland/Paul Loftland Photography)

Journalist Ventured 'Behind The Lines Of Jihad' To Interview The World's Most Wanted

Tue, 06/13/2017 - 12:16pm

Washington Post correspondent Souad Mekhennet has risked kidnapping and imprisonment to report on extremist groups, such as ISIS and the Taliban. Her new memoir is I Was Told to Come Alone.

After Years Of Restraint, A Linguist Says 'Yes!' To The Exclamation Point

Tue, 06/13/2017 - 11:29am

F. Scott Fitzgerald once declared that using an exclamation point was like laughing at your own joke, but linguist Geoff Nunberg begs to differ. He's begun embracing the mark in his own writing.

(Image credit: adekvat /Getty Images/iStock)

'Hue 1968' Revisits An American 'Turning Point' In The War In Vietnam

Mon, 06/12/2017 - 12:25pm

Author Mark Bowden says the capture of Hue, Vietnam, was part of a wave of well-planned Communist attacks that shocked American commanders and helped turn U.S. public opinion against the war.

Fresh Air Weekend: Actor Giancarlo Esposito; 6 Summer Books; Polar Photography

Sat, 06/10/2017 - 8:00am

Esposito reprises his Breaking Bad villain, Gus Fring, on Better Call Saul. Maureen Corrigan presents her early summer reading list. Paul Nicklen takes pictures of a fragile and ferocious ecosystem.

(Image credit: Michele K. Short/AMC/Sony Pictures)

'My Cousin Rachel' Spins A 19th-Century Melodrama About A Mysterious Young Widow

Fri, 06/09/2017 - 12:50pm

Rachel Weisz plays a widow who might have designs on her cousin's fortune in a new adaptation of Daphne Du Maurier's 1951 novel. Critic David Edelstein says the film will keep viewers in suspense.

The Man Behind Wonder Woman Was Inspired By Both Suffragists And Centerfolds

Fri, 06/09/2017 - 12:50pm

Wonder Woman's creator had a few secrets of his own. Historian Jill Lepore describes William Moulton Marstothe's unusual life in The Secret History of Wonder Woman. Originally broadcast Oct. 27, 2014.

'Becoming Cary Grant' Reveals The Self-Invention Of A Hollywood Icon

Fri, 06/09/2017 - 11:05am

Mark Kidel's new Showtime documentary tells the story of the man behind the debonair star. Off screen, Grant was "lonely, insecure and haunted by fears of being abandoned," says critic John Powers.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

For One Saudi Woman, 'Daring To Drive' Was An Act Of Civil Disobedience

Thu, 06/08/2017 - 2:03pm

In 2011, Manal al-Sharif filming herself driving in a country where women are banned from getting behind the wheel. Driving, she says, is "a way to emancipate women. It gives them so much liberty."

(Image credit: Manal al-Sharif)

'Beatriz At Dinner' Serves Up A Barbed Satire About Race, Class And Culture

Thu, 06/08/2017 - 2:03pm

Salma Hayek plays a Mexican-American massage therapist who attends the dinner party of a wealthy client in Beatriz At Dinner. Reviewer Justin Chang calls the film an "elegantly acerbic new comedy."

'Better Call Saul' Actor Giancarlo Esposito On The Making Of An Iconic Villain

Wed, 06/07/2017 - 12:57pm

Six years after the demise of his Breaking Bad character, Esposito is back on TV as the vicious drug lord Gus Fring. He says the current role allows him to take the character "back in time."

(Image credit: Michele K. Short/AMC/Sony Pictures)




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