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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: 28 min 2 sec ago

Writer Mat Johnson On 'Loving Day' And Life As A 'Black Boy' Who Looks White

Fri, 09/16/2016 - 12:42pm

As a biracial child growing up in Philadelphia, Mat Johnson identified as black, but looked white. His latest novel is about a man returning to his childhood home. Originally broadcast June 29, 2015.

Jim Black's Trio Comes Into Its Own With A Lovely, 'Constant' Album

Thu, 09/15/2016 - 1:07pm

Drummer Jim Black slips rock-ish beats beats under a jazz groove on his trio's new album. Critic Kevin Whitehead says the sound on The Constant has a distinctive edge that "pops out of the speakers."

The 'Racial Cleansing' That Drove 1,100 Black Residents Out Of Forsyth County, Ga.

Thu, 09/15/2016 - 1:07pm

In 1912, white mobs set fire to black churches and black-owned businesses. Eventually the entire black population of Forsyth County was driven out, says Blood at the Root author Patrick Phillips.

A First Year College Student Finds Himself Outclassed In 'Loner'

Wed, 09/14/2016 - 1:43pm

Teddy Wayne's new novel begins as a sharply observed novel of manners, but quickly mutates into a classic tale of obsession. Critic Maureen Corrigan calls Loner a powerful suspense story.

Why Abby Wambach Doesn't Want Be Known 'Just As A Soccer Player'

Wed, 09/14/2016 - 1:43pm

Wambach scored 184 goals, more than any other man or woman in the history of international soccer. Still, she knew that someday that identity would end — and "what then?" Her new memoir is Forward.

Having Thick Skin Is A 'Survival Technique,' Says Comic Jeff Ross

Tue, 09/13/2016 - 2:45pm

Ross says he learned to "dish it out and take it" as a kid in Newark, N.J. He says that ideally a celebrity roast is "like a party where everybody goes and has a good time."

Who Says You Can't Train A Cat? A Book Of Tips For Feline-Human Harmony

Mon, 09/12/2016 - 12:20pm

Feline behavior specialist Sarah Ellis explains how humans can get their cats to come on command, take medicine and stop waking them up at night. Her new book is The Trainable Cat.

Country Singer Kelsey Waldon Reaches Back To An Earlier Era In 'I've Got A Way'

Mon, 09/12/2016 - 12:20pm

Waldon puts a distinctive spin on classic country with her new album. Critic Ken Tucker calls her singing, which avoids excessive emotion or embellishment, "the musical version of hard-boiled prose."

Fresh Air Weekend: Actress Pamela Adlon; Jonathan Safran Foer's New Novel; Nels Cline

Sat, 09/10/2016 - 8:00am

Adlon's new series, Better Things, is based on her experience raising three girls as a single mom. Critic Maureen Corrigan reviews Here I Am. Guitarist Cline discusses Wilco and his new album, Lovers.

'NeuroTribes' Examines The History — And Myths — Of The Autism Spectrum

Fri, 09/09/2016 - 12:27pm

Steve Silberman talks about how Nazi extermination plans and a discredited scientific paper about childhood vaccines shaped our current understanding of autism. Originally broadcast Sept. 2, 2015.

An Unforgettable 208-Second Flight Creates A Bureaucratic Frenzy In 'Sully'

Fri, 09/09/2016 - 12:08pm

A new film stars Tom Hanks as the airline caption who made an emergency landing on the Hudson in 2009. Critic David Edelstein says that Sully's flight sequence is by far the best part of the film.

Jonathan Safran Foer's 'Here I Am' Is Both Dazzling And Draining

Thu, 09/08/2016 - 2:28pm

A failing marriage and a catastrophic earthquake take center stage in Safran Foer's new novel. Critic Maureen Corrigan calls Here I Am a profound work about the claims of history, identity and family.

Guitarist Nels Cline On 'Lovers,' An Album 25 Years In The Making

Thu, 09/08/2016 - 2:00pm

Known for the avant-garde sound he brings to Wilco, Cline turns to ballads and jazz standards on his new album. He describes it as a "mood-music record" that isn't "cheesy."

'Sad And Absurd': The U.S.S.R.'s Disastrous Effort To Create A Jewish Homeland

Wed, 09/07/2016 - 1:00pm

Russian-American journalist Masha Gessen discusses the Soviet effort, in 1929, to create an autonomous Jewish state in the country's far eastern region. Gessen is the author of Where The Jews Aren't.

'Musical Monsters' Revisits A 1980 Concert By Cornet Player Don Cherry

Wed, 09/07/2016 - 1:00pm

Cherry joined with four internationally known jazz improvisers for a playful session at a Swiss festival in 1980. Critic Kevin Whitehead says the music they made still sounds fresh 36 years later.

Actress Pamela Adlon Says 'Better Things' Is Dedicated To Her Daughters

Tue, 09/06/2016 - 1:25pm

Adlon's new FX series is based on her own experience raising three girls as a single mom. Her daughters are "very much a part" of the show, she says.

A Resurgence Of 'Redneck' Pride, Marked By Race, Class And Trump

Tue, 09/06/2016 - 1:25pm

The media have used a variety of epithets to describe white working-class Trump supporters. Linguist Geoff Nunberg says these terms embody the class contention that is central to this year's election.

Soul Singer Sharon Jones: 'The Cancer Is Here, But I Want To Perform'

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

In 2013, the The Dap-Kings' lead singer took a hiatus from the band due to a cancer diagnosis. The documentary Miss Sharon Jones! follows her musical comeback. Originally broadcast July 28, 2016.

Fresh Air Weekend: Jacqueline Woodson; 'The Get Down'; 'Unheard Byrd'; 'Square Meal'

Sat, 09/03/2016 - 8:00am

Jacqueline Woodson's new novel is Brooklyn. Ken Tucker reviews The Get Down's soundtrack. Kevin Whitehead reviews Unheard Bird. Jane Ziegelman and Andy Coe discuss the food of the Great Depression.

Ray Liotta On 'Goodfellas,' Acting And His Return To TV

Fri, 09/02/2016 - 12:16pm

"My career has been up and down, and I like it much better being up," Liotta says. He plays a corrupt NYC police lieutenant on the NBC series Shades of Blue. Originally broadcast Jan. 12, 2016.




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