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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: 8 min 8 sec ago

Fresh Air Weekend: Louie Anderson; The Waco Brothers; Reconsidering Lovecraft

Sat, 03/05/2016 - 8:00am

Louie Anderson says he modeled his 'Baskets' role after his own mom. The Waco Brothers' new album mixes country and punk. Writer Victor LaValle discusses his conflicting feelings for H.P. Lovecraft.

In Richard Price's 'The Whites', Haunted Cops And Cases They Couldn't Close

Fri, 03/04/2016 - 12:48pm

Price says that in every precinct there's one cop who just can't let go of a case. "They all reminded me of Ahab ... looking for their whales," he says. Originally broadcast Feb. 17, 2015.

Tina Fey's War-Zone 'Foxtrot' Falls Out Of Step

Fri, 03/04/2016 - 12:48pm

Fey plays a neophyte reporter charged with covering the Afghanistan occupation in Whiskey Tango Foxtrot. Critic David Edestein says the film isn't bad, so much as "shapeless and blandly apolitical."

Waco Brothers Mix Country And Punk On 'Going Down In History'

Thu, 03/03/2016 - 2:51pm

The Waco Brothers recently released their first album of original material in more than a decade. Rock critic Ken Tucker says the music on Going Down in History is "urgent, precise and pointed."

America's 'Lead Wars' Go Beyond Flint, Mich.: 'It's Now Really Everywhere'

Thu, 03/03/2016 - 2:47pm

David Rosner and Gerald Markowitz chronicle America's poisonous relationship with lead in Lead Wars. "We've created a terribly toxic environment in all sorts of ways," Rosner says.

Comic Louie Anderson Modeled His 'Baskets' Role After His Own Mom

Wed, 03/02/2016 - 1:22pm

Anderson delivers a stand-out comic performance as the mother of an embittered rodeo clown. He says, "I really loved playing this part for a big reason that my mom gets to come to life."

Provocative Book Explores The Connection Between Loneliness And Art

Tue, 03/01/2016 - 1:24pm

Olivia Laing surveys the landscape of urban alienation in her new book, a work that is part-memoir and part-criticism. Critic Maureen Corrigan says The Lonely City is "absolutely one of a kind."

Single By Choice: Why Fewer American Women Are Married Than Ever Before

Tue, 03/01/2016 - 1:24pm

Rebecca Traister, author of All the Single Ladies, says the declining marriage rates among adult women are less about the institution of marriage and more about the choices available to women today.

'The Ballad Of Black Tom' Offers A Tribute And Critique Of Lovecraft

Mon, 02/29/2016 - 12:44pm

Growing up, Victor LaValle loved reading the horror stories of H.P. Lovecraft. It wasn't until later that LaValle recognized the racism in Lovecraft's work and felt the need to respond.

Teen Girls And Social Media: A Story Of 'Secret Lives' And Misogyny

Mon, 02/29/2016 - 12:44pm

Author Nancy Jo Sales says the Internet fosters a kind of sexism that is harmful to teen girls. Her new book is American Girls: Social Media and the Secret Lives of Teenagers.

Fresh Air Weekend: 'Hap And Leonard'; 'All My Yesterdays'; Maggie Smith

Sat, 02/27/2016 - 8:00am

Joe R. Lansdale worked as a janitor before finding success as a writer. Kevin Whitehead reviews a two-CD set featuring Thad Jones and Mel Lewis. Maggie Smith discusses the pressures of acting.

Film Shines A 'Spotlight' On Boston's Clergy Sex Abuse Scandal

Fri, 02/26/2016 - 12:49pm

Director Tom McCarthy and former Globe editor Walter Robinson discuss Spotlight, the Oscar-nominated film about Boston's clergy sex abuse scandal. Originally broadcast Oct. 29, 2015.

Adam McKay Of 'Funny Or Die' Dissects The '08 Economic Crash In 'The Big Short'

Fri, 02/26/2016 - 12:49pm

Not only do the characters in McKay's Oscar-nominated film warn about the collapse of the global economy — they make money off of it. Originally broadcast Dec. 23, 2015.

Going For Broke: Atlantic City Falls On Hard Times

Thu, 02/25/2016 - 12:32pm

Once a grand seaside destination, Atlantic City now faces the prospect of a takeover by the state of New Jersey. Historian Bryant Simon and reporter Amy Rosenberg discuss the city's rise and fall.

'All My Yesterdays' Captures The Beginning Of A 50-Year Engagement

Wed, 02/24/2016 - 12:26pm

Music from Thad Jones and Mel Lewis' first and seventh Mondays at the Village Vanguard is out on a new two-CD set. Jazz critic Kevin Whitehead says All My Yesterdays explodes with creative energy.

'Hap And Leonard' Creator Needed To 'Burn Bridges' To Make It As A Writer

Wed, 02/24/2016 - 12:26pm

Joe R. Lansdale grew up poor in east Texas and worked as a janitor and in a potato field before finding success as a writer. Honky Tonk Samurai is the latest book in his mystery series.

New Changes To French Beg The Question: Why Are English Spellings So Weird?

Wed, 02/24/2016 - 12:26pm

As the French debate spelling changes to their language, linguist Geoff Nunberg suggests that Americans take a closer look at some the quirks of English.

Maggie Smith On The Pressures Of Acting: 'You Want So Much To Get It Right'

Tue, 02/23/2016 - 12:55pm

Known for her recent work in Downton Abbey and the Harry Potter films, the Oscar-winning actress now stars in The Lady in the Van, a film about an elderly woman who lived in a van for 15 years.

Bonnie Raitt Explores Her Roots In 'Dig In Deep'

Tue, 02/23/2016 - 12:55pm

Raitt's new album is dominated by uptempo songs, R&B sounds and complex emotions. Rock critic Ken Tucker says the singer's distinctive style gives Dig In Deep a "vital glow."

'Doubter's Almanac' Is A Family Saga, Plus Algebraic Equations

Mon, 02/22/2016 - 2:08pm

Ethan Canin traces the complicated lives of two generations of mathematical geniuses in his new novel. Critic Maureen Corrigan calls it A Doubter's Almanac an "elegant and devastating novel."




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