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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Remembrances
12:27 pm
Mon July 29, 2013

Fresh Air Remembers Former Louisiana Congresswoman Lindy Boggs

Former Democratic representative from Louisiana Lindy Claiborne Boggs attends the Distinguished Service Award ceremony at the Capitol on May 10, 2006.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Mon July 29, 2013 3:51 pm

Lindy Boggs, the former congresswoman from Louisiana, died Saturday at the age of 97. Boggs came to Washington in 1941, the year her husband, Hale Boggs, began his first term as a Democratic congressman from Louisiana. She was 24 years old.

In 1972, on a campaign trip through Alaska, Hale Boggs' plane disappeared, never to be found. Lindy Boggs ran for her late husband's seat and won, becoming the first woman elected to Congress from her state. She remained in Congress through 1990. In 1997, President Clinton appointed her ambassador to the Vatican.

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Television
11:20 am
Mon July 29, 2013

This Summer, Vintage TV Shows Thrive On DVD

The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis is the first in a straight line of teen comedies from the teen point of view. It starred Dwayne Hickman (right) as Dobie and Bob Denver as his best friend, Maynard.
Courtesy of Shout! Factory

Originally published on Mon July 29, 2013 12:27 pm

So much TV, so little time. Even during the summer — when broadcast TV slows down and leaves mostly cable and satellite TV series, and now Netflix, to watch and review — the TV shows on DVD keep coming. And summertime is the perfect time to dive into some of them.

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Fresh Air Weekend
7:03 am
Sat July 27, 2013

Fresh Air Weekend: Maria Bamford, 'Lunches With Orson' And '& Sons'

Maria Bamford is a stand-up comedian and voice actress. She recently appeared in the fourth season of Arrested Development.

Originally published on Sat July 27, 2013 9:11 am

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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Interviews
11:40 am
Fri July 26, 2013

Michael Apted, Aging With The '7 Up' Crew

Jackie, Lynn and Sue — pictured here at age 7 — are three of the children featured in the landmark 1964 documentary 7 Up. The series returns this year with 56 Up, checking in with a group of 14 men and women whose lives have been documented since they were kids.
First Run Features

This interview was originally broadcast on Feb. 5, 2013.

Every seven years since 1964, in what's known as the Up series, Granada Television has caught us up on the lives of 14 everyday people. The subjects of the documentary series were 7 years old when it began; in the latest installment, 56 Up, they are well into middle age.

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Interviews
11:40 am
Fri July 26, 2013

Tig Notaro On Going 'Live' About Her Life

Comedian Tig Notaro dealt with a cancer diagnosis the best way she knew how — with humor.
tignation.com

This interview was originally broadcast on Oct. 8, 2012.

"Good evening, hello. I have cancer. How are you?"

That's how comedian Tig Notaro began her set at Largo in Los Angeles the day she was diagnosed with Stage 2 breast cancer. As she uttered those words to the audience, there was nervous laughter, weeping and total silence in response.

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Movie Reviews
11:40 am
Fri July 26, 2013

'Blue' Rhapsodies: Woody Allen, In Need Of New Tricks

Ginger's (Sally Hawkins) best moments happen while in the company of a persistent suitor named Al (Louis C.K.).
Merrick Morton Sony Classics

Another year, another Woody Allen picture, and few agree on whether that's a good thing. For some, he hasn't made an interesting film since Husbands and Wives, maybe even Hannah and Her Sisters. Others think more recent morality plays like Match Point and comic parables like Midnight in Paris prove the old dog still hunts.

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Author Interviews
11:37 am
Thu July 25, 2013

A Metro 'Revolution': Cities, Suburbs Do What Washington Can't

Philanthropic and business leaders have come together to revive the core of Detroit, which recently filed for federal bankruptcy protection.
Bill Pugliano Getty Images

Originally published on Thu July 25, 2013 1:47 pm

When Detroit filed for federal bankruptcy protection last week, news accounts were filled with troubling stories of urban decay in the city: vast areas of vacant lots and abandoned houses, shuttered parks, nonworking streetlights and police response times close to an hour.

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Health Care
11:37 am
Thu July 25, 2013

For Bioethicist With Ailing Spouse, End-Of-Life Issues Hit Home

Margaret Battin's husband, Brooke Hopkins, was left quadriplegic after he collided with an oncoming bicycle while cycling down a hill in Salt Lake City.
Courtesy of The New York Times

Originally published on Thu July 25, 2013 2:14 pm

After writing books and essays about end-of-life issues, and advocating for the right to die, bioethicist Margaret Battin is wrestling with the issue in her own family. Her husband, Brooke Hopkins, an English professor at the University of Utah, where she also teaches, broke his neck in a bicycle accident in 2008, leaving him with quadriplegia and dependent on life support technology. In order to breathe, he requires a ventilator some of the time and a diaphragmatic pacer all the time. He receives his nutrition through a feeding tube.

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Book Reviews
12:44 pm
Wed July 24, 2013

'My Lunches With Orson' Puts You At The Table With Welles

Central Press Getty Images

Originally published on Wed July 24, 2013 12:53 pm

If you asked me to name my favorite movie scene, I'd choose the one in Citizen Kane when newspaper owner Charles Foster Kane steals his rivals' best reporters, then throws a party in his own honor. As musicians literally sing his praises, we watch Kane dance with chorus girls wearing a look of radiant delight. It's a moment bursting with promise and cockiness and joie de vivre, made all the more exuberant because Kane's pleasure is so obviously shared by Welles himself.

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Author Interviews
12:18 pm
Tue July 23, 2013

A Reclusive Novelist Reckons With His Legacy '& Sons'

New York City's Central Park
AnnaNem iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue July 23, 2013 12:56 pm

At the center of David Gilbert's new novel & Sons is a famous and famously reclusive writer in the J.D. Salinger model. It's a book about the writer as author of books, and as the father of sons — sons who don't feel nearly as warmly toward him as readers do. When & Sons begins, the writer, Andrew Newbold Dyer — or A.N. Dyer as he's known to his readers — is nearing 80.

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Remembrances
10:43 am
Tue July 23, 2013

Carline Ray: A Pioneer For Women In Jazz Dies At 88

Carline Ray, who sang with The International Sweethearts of Rhythm and Mary Lou Williams died on July 18 at the age of 88.
Jazz Promo Services

Originally published on Tue July 23, 2013 12:56 pm

Pioneering musician Carline Ray died July 18 at age 88. In the 1940s, when it was difficult for women to be accepted as jazz musicians, Ray found a home in the all-female band The International Sweethearts of Rhythm as the guitarist and a featured vocalist. She was also a bass player who performed with Sy Oliver, Mercer Ellington and Mary Lou Williams.

Ray was born in Harlem in 1925 during the Harlem Renaissance. She graduated from Juilliard and the Manhattan School of Music. Her husband, Luis Russell, led his own band and worked as Louis Armstrong's music director.

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Middle East
12:17 pm
Mon July 22, 2013

Morsi's Ouster In Egypt: A 'Bookend' For The Arab Spring

In Cairo on July 17, supporters of the ousted president demonstrate for his reinstatement.
Gianluigi Guercia AFP/Getty Images

After covering the Egyptian revolution that overthrew President Hosni Mubarak in 2011, David Kirkpatrick has now been reporting on the military's ouster of Egypt's first democratically elected president, Mohammed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Kirkpatrick, The New York Times' Cairo bureau chief, arrived in Egypt in January 2011, and days later flew to Tunisia to cover the revolution that launched the Arab Spring.

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Fresh Air Weekend
7:03 am
Sat July 20, 2013

Fresh Air Weekend: Jason Isbell, 'Cuckoo's Calling,' 'Orange Is The New Black'

Jason Isbell was previously a member of Drive-By Truckers. His solo albums include Sirens of the Ditch and Here We Rest.
Eric England Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sat July 20, 2013 10:58 am

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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Arts & Life
10:38 am
Fri July 19, 2013

Two Documentaries Examine Violence, Human And Animal

The new documentary Blackfish looks at the practice of keeping orca whales in captivity.
EPK

Originally published on Fri July 19, 2013 11:49 am

Two documentaries, Blackfish and The Act of Killing, are making waves around the world. The first riles you up; the second blows your mind.

"Blackfish" is the Inuits' name for the orca, a creature that they say is worthy of veneration but that you don't want to mess with — the chief example in Gabriela Cowperthwaite's Blackfish being Tilikum, responsible for two, possibly three human deaths.

The movie is Tilikum's story — along with the story of other orcas kept in captivity in theme parks like SeaWorld.

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Interviews
8:49 am
Fri July 19, 2013

Dean Norris On Playing Good In 'Breaking Bad'

Dean Norris plays DEA agent Hank Schrader in AMC's Breaking Bad. "He's a good cop, he just hasn't put the pieces together yet," Norris says.
Ben Leuner AMC

Originally published on Fri July 19, 2013 10:38 am

This interview was originally broadcast on Aug. 6, 2012.

With each season of AMC's Breaking Bad, Dean Norris' character, DEA agent Hank Schrader, has evolved from a knuckleheaded jock into a complex, sympathetic and even heroic counterpoint to the show's anti-hero, high-school chemistry teacher turned meth cook Walter White. And to further complicate matters, Schrader and White (played by Bryan Cranston) are brothers-in-law.

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Book Reviews
11:40 am
Thu July 18, 2013

The Only Surprise In Rowling's 'Cuckoo's Calling' Is The Author

J.K. Rowling recently revealed herself to be the author of the mystery novel The Cuckoo's Calling.
Ben Pruchnie Getty Images

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 1:41 pm

Call it "The Mystery of the Missing Book Sales" — and I don't think we'll be needing to bring Sherlock Holmes in to solve this one. In April, a debut mystery called The Cuckoo's Calling was published. It appeared to be written by an unknown British writer named Robert Galbraith, who was identified on the book jacket as a former military cop now working in private security.

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Pop Culture
11:40 am
Thu July 18, 2013

Maria Bamford: A Seriously Funny Comedian

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 1:05 pm

It's almost uncomfortable to laugh at Maria Bamford's comedy, because so much of it is about really serious problems she has: OCD, bipolar disorder, suicidal thoughts. She's been hospitalized several times. But you have to laugh, because she's that funny.

In addition to the difficulties from which she suffers, Bamford — who has a new comedy CD out called Ask Me About My New God! — incorporates her family into much of her material. She's close to both her parents, in part, she says, because they've been through so much together.

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The Fresh Air Interview
12:46 pm
Wed July 17, 2013

Jason Isbell Locates His Musical Compass On 'Southeastern'

Jason Isbell was previously a member of Drive-By Truckers. His solo albums include Sirens of the Ditch and Here We Rest.
Eric England Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed October 30, 2013 8:38 am

When singer-songwriter Jason Isbell used to get drunk, he'd sometimes tell his then-girlfriend, the musician Amanda Shires, that he needed to quit the bottle — and that if it was going to take, he'd have to go to rehab. Eventually, she said the next time he told her that, she'd hold him to it. And she did. And he went. And, he tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross, "The jury is still out on whether or not it worked, but it worked today and all the days leading up to this."

Initially, he says he was scared about what sobriety would do to his personality and his creativity.

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Television
2:29 pm
Tue July 16, 2013

Laughs And Drama Behind Bars With 'Orange Is The New Black'

Taylor Schilling and Lin Tucci in the Netflix series Orange Is the New Black.
Jessica Miglio Netflix

Netflix's original series Orange Is the New Black has two important TV predecessors. One is HBO's Oz, the 1997 men-in-prison drama from Tom Fontana that paved the way for HBO's The Sopranos. The other is Showtime's Weeds, which in the fourth season put one of its central characters behind bars.

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Around the Nation
2:29 pm
Tue July 16, 2013

Investigation Reveals A Military Payroll Rife With Glitches

Scot Paltrow is a special enterprise correspondent for Reuters.
Reuters

A new investigative report from Reuters says payroll errors in the military are widespread. And that "once mistakes are detected, getting them corrected — or just explained — can test even the most persistent soldiers."

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Music Reviews
11:40 am
Tue July 16, 2013

Sylvester: 'Mighty Real' Disco Star Deserves A Modern Spotlight

Sylvester's 1978 album Step II resulted in a couple of smash singles, "Dance (Disco Heat)" and "You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)."
Fantasy Archives

Originally published on Tue July 16, 2013 2:29 pm

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Author Interviews
1:04 pm
Mon July 15, 2013

Christ In Context: 'Zealot' Explores The Life Of Jesus

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon July 15, 2013 3:13 pm

Writer and scholar Reza Aslan was 15 years old when he found Jesus. His secular Muslim family had fled to the U.S. from Iran, and Aslan's conversion was, in a sense, an adolescent's attempt to fit into American life and culture. "My parents were certainly surprised," Aslan tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross.

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Fresh Air Weekend
7:03 am
Sat July 13, 2013

Fresh Air Weekend: Liev Schreiber, Tomi Ungerer And Jay-Z

Tomi Ungerer's 1967 book Moon Man follows its lonely protagonist as he visits Earth for the very first time.
Tomi Ungerer

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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Fresh Air Weekend
7:03 am
Sat July 13, 2013

Fresh Air Weekend: Schreiber, Ungerer And 'The Newsroom'

Liev Schreiber as Hollywood lawyer Ray Donovan in Ray Donovan.
Suzanne Tenner Showtime

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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Movie Reviews
12:44 pm
Fri July 12, 2013

Introducing Oscar Grant, The Man Behind The Headlines

Based on a true story, Fruitvale Station won the Grand Jury Prize at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival. Michael B. Jordan stars as Oscar Grant and Ariana Neal stars as his young daughter, Tatiana.
Cait Adkins The Weinstein Co.

The actor Michael B. Jordan gives a major performance in Ryan Coogler's debut film, Fruitvale Station. He plays 22-year-old Oscar Grant, who was shot in a run-in with cops at an Oakland, Calif., train stop in the early hours of 2009. The film opens with cellphone footage of the actual event, so you know what's coming. But the Oscar you meet on the last day of 2008 remains a man, not a martyr.

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Television
12:44 pm
Fri July 12, 2013

Back For More: Sorkin's 'Newsroom' Is A Serious Standout

Jeff Daniels returns to Aaron Sorkin's HBO series The Newsroom as cable news anchor Will McAvoy.
HBO

The one major change series creator Aaron Sorkin made to The Newsroom between seasons was a structural one. Instead of having each week's show focus on a separate major storyline, this year's edition of The Newsroom follows a single story over the course of the entire season. And it's a season-long plot line in which anchor Will McAvoy and the other employees of the fictional Atlantic Cable News network get one important news report very wrong.

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Interviews
12:44 pm
Fri July 12, 2013

Jeff Daniels: Anchoring The Cast Of 'The Newsroom'

After a public meltdown and a wholesale staff defection, Will McAvoy (Jeff Daniels) decides to take a different approach with his nightly news show.
HBO

This interview was originally broadcast on June 20, 2012.

Aaron Sorkin's HBO drama The Newsroom revolves around Will McAvoy (Jeff Daniels), a popular cable-news anchor floating happily along with his nightly newscast, which does well in the ratings but doesn't tend to delve into anything that could offend or alienate anyone.

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Music Reviews
2:11 pm
Thu July 11, 2013

Jay-Z Swings Triumphant Then Trivial On 'Magna Carta Holy Grail'

Jay-Z's previous albums include Reasonable Doubt and The Blueprint. He collaborated with Kanye West for Watch the Throne.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu July 11, 2013 2:19 pm

Now 43 years old, Jay-Z has become the Jay Gatsby of hip-hop: a man with a checkered background playing host to endless parties, celebrating excellence, the good life and himself. It's no wonder that he was asked to oversee the music for director Baz Luhrmann's amusement park ride version of F. Scott Fitzgerald's romantic fantasy.

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Health Care
1:59 pm
Thu July 11, 2013

Former Insurance Exec Offers An Insider's Look At Obamacare

Pill bottles
iStockphoto.com

On March 23, 2010, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was signed into law. It's aimed at making health insurance more affordable and reducing the overall costs of health care.

Some parts of the law have already gone into effect: Insurers can't impose lifetime dollar limits on essential benefits, like hospital stays; children can stay on their parents' plan until they're 26; children with pre-existing conditions can't be denied coverage; and all new insurance plans must cover preventive care and medical screenings.

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Author Interviews
12:47 pm
Wed July 10, 2013

'Blue Plate Special': A Generous Helping Of Life

Author Kate Christensen weaves her love of food and cooking into a new memoir.
Michael Sharkey Doubleday

Originally published on Wed July 10, 2013 1:56 pm

When novelist Kate Christensen was just a toddler, she witnessed her father beating her mother. It was a scene that would haunt Christensen for decades.

And so it's with a description of that morning that she chooses to begin her memoir Blue Plate Special: An Autobiography of My Appetites. The book that unfolds is an examination of the reverberations of her father's violence in her life, and a meditation on how her love of food helped her cope.

As a child, she tells Fresh Air's Dave Davies, she refused to identify with her mother in the scenario.

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