Fresh Air

Weekdays at Noon

Fresh Air opens the window on contemporary arts and issues with guests from worlds as diverse as literature and economics. Terry Gross hosts this multi-award-winning daily interview and features program. The veteran public radio interviewer is known for her extraordinary ability to engage guests of all dispositions. Every weekday she delights intelligent and curious listeners with revelations on contemporary societal concerns.

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Book Reviews
12:21 pm
Thu January 29, 2015

In 'Outline,' A Series Of Conversations Are Autobiographies In Miniature

The narrator of Rachel Cusk's new novel Outline is a novelist and divorced mother of two who has agreed to teach a summer course in creative writing in Athens. The novel itself is composed of some 10 conversations that she has with, among others, her seatmate on the plane flying to Greece, her students in the writing class, dinner companions and fellow teachers.

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Religion
12:21 pm
Thu January 29, 2015

Editor Picks Religions For The First Norton Anthology of World Religions

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Movie Reviews
12:38 pm
Wed January 28, 2015

Full Of Complexity And Ambivalence, 'American Sniper' Shows The Cost Of War

Bradley Cooper (right) plays Chris Kyle in American Sniper. The film has become a cultural phenomenon and has spawned knee-jerk squabbling.
Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

Originally published on Wed January 28, 2015 1:03 pm

In the years following the invasion of Iraq, it became a truism that Americans simply didn't want to hear about the war — especially at the movies. While there were scads of films about Iraq, including Kathryn Bigelow's Oscar-winning The Hurt Locker, none was able to attract a big audience. Until American Sniper.

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Shots - Health News
12:05 pm
Wed January 28, 2015

Why Teens Are Impulsive, Addiction-Prone And Should Protect Their Brains

Dr. Frances Jensen is a professor and chair of the Department of Neurology at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine.
Courtesy of Harper Collins

Originally published on Thu January 29, 2015 5:26 pm

Teens can't control impulses and make rapid, smart decisions like adults can — but why?

Research into how the human brain develops helps explain. In a teenager, the frontal lobe of the brain, which controls decision-making, is built but not fully insulated — so signals move slowly.

"Teenagers are not as readily able to access their frontal lobe to say, 'Oh, I better not do this,' " Dr. Frances Jensen tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross.

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Music Interviews
11:23 am
Tue January 27, 2015

At The BBC, The Beatles Shocked An Institution

Originally published on Wed January 28, 2015 4:46 pm

Between 1962 and 1965, The Beatles were featured on 53 BBC radio programs. For The Beatles: The BBC Archives, executive producer Kevin Howlett had to search for many of these recordings, and they weren't easy to find.

Originally broadcast Nov. 27, 2013.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Author Interviews
11:17 am
Mon January 26, 2015

'Ghettoside' Explores Why Murders Are Invisible In Los Angeles

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

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Book Reviews
11:17 am
Mon January 26, 2015

These 13 'Almost Famous Women' Stirred Up Trouble, Or Trouble Found Them

One of Megan Mayhew Bergman's short stories is based on the life of dancer and actress Butterfly McQueen.
Hulton Archive Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 26, 2015 12:17 pm

Almost Famous Women is the kind of "high concept" short-story collection that invites skepticism. These stories are about 13 historical women whose names you mostly might sort-of recognize. Beryl Markham, Butterfly McQueen and Shirley Jackson are slam-dunks, but Romaine Brooks and Joe Carstairs are a bit blurrier. While the family names of Allegra Byron, Dolly Wilde and Norma Millay betray their relation to important figures, we don't know what they did. And who the heck was Hazel Eaton or Tiny Davis?

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Fresh Air Weekend
9:31 am
Sat January 24, 2015

Fresh Air Weekend: Al Michaels, Review Of Sleater-Kinney's New Album, David Morris

Al Michaels will announce the Super Bowl game between the Seattle Seahawks and the New England Patriots on Feb. 1.
Doug Pensinger Getty Images

Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors, and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:

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Music
11:25 am
Fri January 23, 2015

Producer Cosimo Matassa Always Believed In New Orleans

New Orleans music didn't do as well in the 1960s, a few hits notwithstanding, as it had done. Musicians left town, major labels lost interest, and Motown and Memphis took over the black music charts. Nonetheless, the late Cosimo Matassa, who owned the only recording studio in town, kept busy. Fresh Air rock historian Ed Ward has the story today.

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Author Interviews
11:25 am
Fri January 23, 2015

In The World's 'Sixth Extinction,' Are Humans The Asteroid?

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Sports
11:20 am
Thu January 22, 2015

Broadcaster Al Michaels Gets Ready To Provide 'Lyrics' For The Super Bowl

Al Michaels will announce the Super Bowl game between the Seattle Seahawks and the New England Patriots on Feb. 1.
Doug Pensinger Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 22, 2015 1:28 pm

When the Seattle Seahawks and New England Patriots meet in the 2015 Super Bowl on Feb. 1, the broadcast booth will be anchored by a man who has done the play-by-play for eight previous Super Bowls. Al Michaels, the announcer for NBC's Sunday Night Football, knows how to put emotion into his broadcasts.

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Music
11:20 am
Thu January 22, 2015

Tom Varner's Got 'Nine Surprises' And A Big Band Is All Of Them

In 2005, jazz composer and french horn player Tom Varner left New York for Seattle, where he put together a nine-piece band of local players. Their new album is called Nine Surprises. Fresh Air jazz critic Kevin Whitehead says that Varner can really write, and they can really play.

Movie Reviews
10:13 am
Wed January 21, 2015

'Leviathan' And 'Red Army' Deliver A Peek Inside Russia, Now And Then

Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 11:27 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Movie Interviews
10:13 am
Wed January 21, 2015

Benedict Cumberbatch On Alan Turing's Awkwardness And Sherlock's Sex Appeal

The Imitation Game, starring Keira Knightley and Benedict Cumberbatch, follows the story of mathematician Alan Turing — from his efforts to break Germany's Enigma code during World War II to his conviction for homosexuality.
Jack English Courtesy of Black Bear Films

Originally published on Thu January 22, 2015 6:58 am

It's been a good year for Benedict Cumberbatch. The English actor has earned an Oscar nomination for his starring role in the film The Imitation Game, and he's won critical acclaim — and a big following — for his performance on TV's Sherlock.

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Music
10:13 am
Wed January 21, 2015

Sleater-Kinney Comes Roaring Back With 'No Cities To Love'

Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 11:27 am

Sleater-Kinney is one of the most widely-praised rock bands of the last 20 years. The band formed in the mid-90s in Olympia, Wash., and went on to record seven albums. The group split up in 2006, but have reunited to release a new album, called No Cities to Love, and Fresh Air rock critic Ken Tucker says it's a strong comeback.

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Author Interviews
12:02 pm
Tue January 20, 2015

In 'The Evil Hours,' A Journalist Shares His Struggle With PTSD

Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 3:35 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Television
12:02 pm
Tue January 20, 2015

'The Nightly Show With Larry Wilmore' Debuts In Slot Vacated By Stephen Colbert

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Fresh Air Weekend
9:29 am
Sat January 17, 2015

Fresh Air Weekend: 'Boyhood' Stars, 'Broad City' Co-Creators, A Review Of Ty Segall

On Broad City, Abbi Jacobson (left) and Ilana Glazer play two single, 20-somethings living in New York City with dead-end jobs. They spend a lot of time hanging out, smoking weed and making each other laugh.
Walter Thompson Courtesy of Comedy Central

Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors, and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:

The Magic Of The 'Boyhood' Experiment: Time And Patience: If the story fell apart after 12 years of filming, it would have been a "real drag," says Patricia Arquette, and a "colossal waste of time," says Ethan Hawke. Instead, it won three Golden Globes.

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Author Interviews
9:21 am
Sat January 17, 2015

'Gateway To Freedom': Heroes, Danger And Loss On The Underground Railroad

Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 9:35 am

Until 2007, when it was unearthed by a Columbia University undergraduate, few scholars were aware of the record of fugitive slaves written by Sydney Howard Gay. Gay was a key Underground Railroad operative from the mid-1840s until the eve of the Civil War. He was also the editor of the weekly newspaper the National Anti-Slavery Standard.

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Movie Reviews
11:59 am
Fri January 16, 2015

'Still Alice' Is A Triumph For Julianne Moore, But The Rest Of Film Is Thin

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Author Interviews
11:59 am
Fri January 16, 2015

Skeptic Takes A Tour Of Self-Help's 'Promise Land'

Despite being the daughter of a child psychologist and self-help author, Jessica Lamb-Shapiro has spent most of her life recoiling from the self-help industry. But eventually, her curiosity got the best of her. She tells Fresh Air about self-help's high- and low-brow iterations and the ways the industry helped her address her fears.

Originally aired Jan. 22, 2014.

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World
12:06 pm
Thu January 15, 2015

How Orwell's 'Animal Farm' Led A Radical Muslim To Moderation

At age 16, Maajid Nawaz joined the Islamist group Hizb ut-Tahrir. But after four years in prison, he decided to leave the group. He co-founded the think tank Quilliam, which is dedicated to countering extremist beliefs, and he's now running for Parliament in England.
Courtesy of the Quilliam Foundation

Originally published on Thu January 15, 2015 5:00 pm

When Maajid Nawaz was growing up in Essex, England, in the 1990s, the son of Pakistani parents, he first found his voice of rebellion through American hip-hop.

"It gave me a feeling that my identity could matter — and did matter — growing up as a British Pakistani who was facing racism from whiter society," Nawaz tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross, "but also confusion about where my family was from and not really fitting into either culture."

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Television
12:09 pm
Wed January 14, 2015

In 'Broad City,' Two Women Make Comedy From The 'Muck' Of New York Living

On Broad City, Abbi Jacobson (left) and Ilana Glazer play two single, 20-somethings living in New York City with dead-end jobs. They spend a lot of time hanging out, smoking weed and making each other laugh.
Walter Thompson Courtesy of Comedy Central

Comedy Central's television show Broad City has been compared to Girls and Sex and the City, but when co-creators, co-writers and co-stars Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer were creating the web series that ended up being a prototype of their TV show, they were actually channeling Seinfeld and Curb Your Enthusiasm.

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Remembrances
12:09 pm
Wed January 14, 2015

Fresh Air Remembers National Book Award Winner Robert Stone

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Movie Interviews
12:49 pm
Tue January 13, 2015

The Magic Of The 'Boyhood' Experiment: Time And Patience

The cast of Boyhood — (from left) Patricia Arquette, Lorelei Linklater, Ellar Coltrane and Ethan Hawke — won the Golden Globe for best motion picture on Sunday.
Kevin Winter Getty Images

Actor Ethan Hawke calls Boyhood, which won best motion picture Sunday at the Golden Globes, an "experiment."

The fictional story takes place over the course of 12 years — and was shot over the course of 12 years. So without special makeup or prosthetics, audiences watch two children grow up and two adults age. Hawke plays Mason Sr., the children's father, and Patricia Arquette plays Olivia, the children's mother. They are divorced.

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Television
12:33 pm
Tue January 13, 2015

'Man Seeking Woman' Examines How It Feels To Be Single, Dating And Rejected

On Man Seeking Woman, Jay Baruchel plays Josh, who is getting used to dating again after a breakup.
Michael Gibson FXX

Originally published on Tue January 13, 2015 1:47 pm

Describing Man Seeking Woman, the new comedy series premiering Wednesday on the FXX cable network, isn't going to be easy.

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Music
12:32 pm
Mon January 12, 2015

Ty Segall Goes 3-D On 'Mr. Face'

Ty Segall is 27 years old, and he does it all — writes, sings, produces, plays guitar and drums. He's released a large amount of music over the past decade, solo albums as well as working with other bands. Fresh Air rock critic Ken Tucker reviews Segall's new four-song EP, Mr. Face, and tries to get a fix on Segall's productivity.

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Shots - Health News
12:07 pm
Mon January 12, 2015

Why OCD Is 'Miserable': A Science Reporter's Obsession With Contracting HIV

David Adam is a writer and editor at the journal Nature and was a special correspondent at the Guardian, writing about science, medicine and the environment.
Courtesy of Farrar, Straus and Giroux, LLC

Originally published on Wed January 14, 2015 8:58 am

If you have an obsessive but irrational fear, it would probably be pretty difficult for anyone to talk you out of it. Because irrational fears, by definition, aren't rational, which is one of the reasons having obsessive-compulsive disorder is such a nightmare.

For science reporter David Adam, he's obsessed with HIV.

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Fresh Air Weekend
9:49 am
Sat January 10, 2015

Fresh Air Weekend: 'Selma' Director Ava DuVernay And Writer George Pelecanos

Ava DuVernay is up for a Golden Globe for best film director. This makes her the first African-American woman to be nominated in that category.
Atsushi Nishijima Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors, and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:

The Sounds, Space And Spirit Of 'Selma': A Director's Take: Ava DuVernay's new film dramatizes a turning point in civil rights history. She says she wanted to "elevate [Selma] from a page in your history book and really just get it ... into your DNA."

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Author Interviews
12:38 pm
Fri January 9, 2015

Son Of A Secret Smuggler Digs Up The Truth About His Dad

Tony Dokoupil's father was once busted for distributing enough marijuana "to roll a joint for every college-age person in America." In The Last Pirate, Dokoupil reflects on his dad's time as a dealer.

Originally aired March 31, 2014.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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