Fresh Air

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Fresh Air from WHYY, the Peabody Award-winning weekday magazine of contemporary arts and issues, is one of public radio's most popular programs. Hosted by Terry Gross, the show features intimate conversations with today's biggest luminaries.Subscribe to Fresh Air Plus! You'll enjoy bonus episodes and sponsor-free listening - all while you support NPR's mission. Learn more at plus.npr.org/freshair

  • 45 minutes 54 seconds
    Michael McDonald
    McDonald says that earlier in his career, he tended to avoid writing about himself directly in songs. He opens up about his life and career in the memoir, What a Fool Believes. He spoke with Tonya Mosley about his first band as a tween, his songwriting process, and being big in the Black community.

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    20 May 2024, 7:52 pm
  • 48 minutes 23 seconds
    Best Of: Kathleen Hanna / Tyler James Williams
    Musician, activist, and punk pioneer Kathleen Hanna talks about being at the epicenter of the '90s riot grrrl movement. She talks about the early days of Bikini Kill and writing the anthem "Rebel Girl."

    Book critic Maureen Corrigan reviews Claire Messud's new novel.

    Also, actor Tyler James Williams shares the motivation behind his role as a no-nonsense teacher on the hit series Abbott Elementary.

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    18 May 2024, 1:03 pm
  • 46 minutes 32 seconds
    Remembering Filmmaker Roger Corman
    Filmmaker Roger Corman, the "King of the B" movies, died last week at the age of 98. He made hundreds of films, such cult classics as Little Shop of Horrors, A Bucket of Blood, House of Usher, The Last Woman on Earth, and The Cry Baby Killer. We feature our 1990 interview with him, and with those whose careers he helped launch – including actors Peter Fonda and Bruce Dern, as well as directors James Cameron, Martin Scorsese, and Jonathan Demme. And our critic at large, John Powers, has an appreciation.

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    17 May 2024, 4:46 pm
  • 43 minutes 32 seconds
    Writer Carvell Wallace On Pain, Processing & Letting Go
    Wallace is known for his celebrity profiles, but his new memoir, Another Word For Love, is about his own life, growing up unhoused, Black and queer, and getting his start as a writer at the age of 40.

    David Bianculli shares an appreciation of John Mulaney's six-part live Netflix talk show, Everybody's in L.A.

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    16 May 2024, 7:42 pm
  • 45 minutes 44 seconds
    Regional Complexities Of The Israel/Hamas War
    The Economist Middle East correspondent Gregg Carlstrom explains why some Arab leaders hate Hamas, fear Iran and have some sympathy for Israel — although not for how Israel is waging the war.

    For sponsor-free episodes of Fresh Air — and exclusive weekly bonus episodes, too — subscribe to Fresh Air+ via Apple Podcasts or here.


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    15 May 2024, 6:20 pm
  • 45 minutes 38 seconds
    'Abbott Elementary' Actor Tyler James Williams
    Williams was thrust into the public eye as a kid, when he starred in Everybody Hates Chris. Now, playing a teacher on Abbott Elementary, he strives to make the child actors on set feel comfortable. He spoke with Tonya Mosley about the trauma of fame as a kid, his Crohn's diagnosis, and tuning out online chatter.

    Justin Chang reviews the Japanese film Evil Does Not Exist, by Drive My Car director Ryûsuke Hamaguchi.

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    14 May 2024, 7:35 pm
  • 45 minutes 57 seconds
    Kathleen Hanna's 'Rebel Girl' Life
    Kathleen Hanna's band Bikini Kill was the epicenter of the riot grrrl feminist punk movement of the '90s. Their song "Rebel Girl" was the anthem. Now Hanna has a memoir (also called Rebel Girl) about her time in the punk scene, her childhood, and finding joy in expressing anger in public.

    Also, book critic Maureen Corrigan reviews Claire Messud's new novel, This Strange Eventful History.

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    13 May 2024, 6:24 pm
  • 48 minutes 27 seconds
    Best Of: Brittney Griner / Discovering Plant Intelligence
    WNBA star Brittney Griner talks about the physical and emotional hell of her nearly 300 days in Russian prisons. Russian authorities apprehended Griner at the Moscow Airport when she was found carrying a tiny amount of medically prescribed cannabis — then charged her with drug smuggling. Her memoir is Coming Home.

    Jazz historian Kevin Whitehead reviews a 1959 Sonny Rollins reissue.

    And we'll talk about plant intelligence with climate journalist Zoë Schlanger. Her book is The Light Eaters.

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    11 May 2024, 7:00 am
  • 45 minutes 23 seconds
    'The Sympathizer' Author Viet Thanh Nguyen
    Viet Thanh Nguyen's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Sympathizer has been adapted into a series on HBO/MAX. It's set in Vietnam during the last days of the war, and in LA, just after. The narrator becomes a consultant to a Hollywood film about the war. The novel is written from a Vietnamese perspective. "It's my revenge on Francis Ford Coppola, my revenge on Hollywood, to try to get Americans to understand that Vietnam is a country and not a war," he told Terry Gross in 2016. Nguyen's family fled their village in South Vietnam in 1975, when it was taken over by the North.

    Also, David Bianculli reviews Let It Be, the Beatles film restored and rereleased after being shelved for more than 50 years.


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    10 May 2024, 3:45 pm
  • 44 minutes 45 seconds
    Remembering Minimalist Painter Frank Stella
    We remember painter and sculptor Frank Stella, whose early work was considered revolutionary. He died last week at age 87. Stella became famous and controversial in the 1950s for his "black paintings," which were a stark contrast to the abstract expressionism of the time, and made him one of the fathers of minimalism.

    Later, we'll feature an interview with one of the most influential early rock and roll guitarists, Duane Eddy. He also died last week.

    Book critic Maureen Corrigan reviews Long Island, Colm Tóibín's new sequel to his bestselling novel Brooklyn.

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    9 May 2024, 6:46 pm
  • 42 minutes 47 seconds
    A People's History Of Black Twitter
    #BlackLivesMatter. #OscarsSoWhite. #ICantBreathe. Filmmaker Prentice Penny's docuseries about Black Twitter celebrates the voices and movements that impacted politics and culture. Penny was also the showrunner of the HBO series Insecure.

    Also, John Powers reviews the four-part series Shardlake, based on C.J. Sansom's first novel in a series about a crime-solving lawyer in 16th-century England.

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    8 May 2024, 6:48 pm
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