Fresh Air

Weekdays 3-4 p.m., rebroadcast 9-10 p.m.
Terry Gross

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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Author Interviews
1:05 pm
Wed April 24, 2013

'Let's Explore': David Sedaris On His Public Private Life

David Sedaris' stories have appeared on This American Life and in The New Yorker, and have now filled seven essay collections -- most recently, Let's Explore Diabetes With Owls.
Hugh Hamrick Little, Brown and Co.

Originally published on Thu April 25, 2013 6:43 pm

David Sedaris writes personal stories, funny tales about his life growing up in a Greek family outside of Raleigh, N.C., about working as an elf in Santa's workshop at Christmastime, and about living abroad with his longtime partner, Hugh.

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Book Reviews
12:14 pm
Wed April 24, 2013

'Equilaterial': Martians, Oil And A Hole In The Desert

Johan Swanepoel iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu April 25, 2013 9:08 am

Equilateral is a weird little novel, but any reader familiar with Ken Kalfus expects his writing to go off-road. Kalfus wrote one of the best and certainly the least sentimental novels about New York City post-9/11. I loved A Disorder Peculiar to the Country, but I stopped assigning it to students in my New York lit class because they were usually turned off by its black humor and lack of uplift. Equilateral doesn't run that same risk of being in bad taste as social commentary because, at first, it doesn't seem to have anything to do with current events.

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Movie Interviews
11:43 am
Tue April 23, 2013

Matthew McConaughey, Getting Serious Again

Matthew McConaughey stars as a man on the run from authorities in Jeff Nichols' Mud.
Jim Bridges Roadside Attractions Publicity

Originally published on Tue February 25, 2014 4:30 pm

Matthew McConaughey earned early attention as a sensitive actor with his turn in the 1996 legal drama A Time to Kill -- but since then he has mostly made a career with leading-man roles in romantic comedies like How to Lose a Guy In 10 Days, Failure to Launch and The Wedding Planner.

He calls these "tomorrow roles," and he tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross that he appreciates them for what they are: parts he could land one day and walk on set to film the next day.

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Author Interviews
1:04 pm
Mon April 22, 2013

'Zoobiquity': What Humans Can Learn From Animal Illness

Originally published on Wed April 24, 2013 10:05 am

Dr. Barbara Natterson-Horowitz, a cardiologist at the UCLA Medical Center, coined the term "zoobiquity" to describe the idea of looking to animals and the doctors who care for them to better understand human health. Veterinary medicine had not been on her radar at all until about 10 years ago. That's when she was asked to join the medical advisory board for the Los Angeles Zoo and she began hearing about "congestive heart failure in a gorilla or leukemia in a rhinoceros or breast cancer in a tiger or a lion."

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Television
12:02 pm
Mon April 22, 2013

'Rectify': An Ex-Con Navigates The World Outside

Daniel (Aden Young) finds a supporter in the devout Tawney (Adelaide Clemens) — if not among all of his other neighbors — when he's exonerated after spending more than 19 years in prison for a crime he did't commit.
Sundance Film Channel

Originally published on Wed April 24, 2013 10:05 am

Rectify, a new drama series from the Sundance Channel, wants to stand out from the pack — and it certainly succeeds at that. It's a six-hour limited series, more along the British model of TV than ours here in the States. If these first six installments catch on enough, the story will continue. If not, that's it.

And Rectify is so unusual a show, with its own deliberate pace and premise and approach, that it may not build enough viewership to keep going. But that doesn't mean it's not a worthwhile show, or a memorable one — because it is.

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Movie Reviews
11:03 am
Mon April 22, 2013

Tom Cruise's Latest Headed For 'Oblivion'

Originally published on Wed April 24, 2013 10:05 am

Transcript

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

In December, Tom Cruise starred as the title character in the film "Jack Reacher." In "Oblivion," which opened on Friday, he plays another Jack, one of few humans left on an Earth devastated by an alien invasion. "Oblivion" is based on a graphic novel co-written by Joseph Kosinski, who went on to direct the film, and it costars Morgan Freeman and Melissa Leo. Film critic David Edelstein has this review.

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Fresh Air Weekend
8:03 am
Sat April 20, 2013

Fresh Air Weekend: Junger, Paisley And A Serial-Killing Nurse

Photographer Tim Hetherington during an assignment for Vanity Fair Magazine at the Restrepo outpost.
Tim A. Hetherington

Originally published on Sat April 20, 2013 10:41 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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Concerts
3:41 pm
Fri April 19, 2013

For Boston: A Dave McKenna Concert

Originally published on Sat April 20, 2013 8:58 am

Fresh Air pays tribute to Boston with a 1988 performance by the late jazz pianist Dave McKenna. From 1981 to 1991, McKenna had a standing gig at Boston's Grand Dame Copley Plaza Hotel. He was also a loyal Red Sox fan. He died in 2008.

Explosions At Boston Marathon
3:13 pm
Fri April 19, 2013

David Bianculli On Media Coverage Of The Marathon Explosions

Originally published on Fri April 19, 2013 9:41 pm

Fresh Air TV critic David Bianculli talks with Terry Gross about the media coverage surrounding the explosions at the Boston Marathon.

Explosions At Boston Marathon
11:27 am
Fri April 19, 2013

Dennis Lehane On 'Messing With The Wrong City'

Originally published on Fri April 19, 2013 9:41 pm

Transcript

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR and we're talking about what's happening in Boston. With me now is our TV critic David Bianculli. And David, usually when there's breaking news like this you're watching, like, a lot of TVs at a time.

DAVID BIANCULLI, BYLINE: Right.

GROSS: Trying to see how different networks are covering it. And you've done this for years. You've done this through many different crises. So how does this past week compare to other crises that you've monitored in the media in terms of the coverage?

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Explosions At Boston Marathon
11:27 am
Fri April 19, 2013

Journalists Charles Sennott And Seth Mnookin Discuss Boston Manhunt

Originally published on Fri April 19, 2013 9:41 pm

Transcript

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm Terry Gross. Today we're following events in Boston. We have several guests standing by. Our first guest is Seth Mnookin, a professor of journalism at MIT. He's become famous for live-tweeting the events in Watertown last night. He's a contributing editor at Vanity Fair and was a senior writer at Newsweek. Seth, are you joining us on the phone there?

SETH MNOOKIN: Yes, I'm here.

GROSS: Thank you for being with us. So how did you end up being on the scene at Watertown last night?

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Movie Interviews
10:53 am
Thu April 18, 2013

Sebastian Junger: 'Which Way' To Turn After Hetherington's Death

Photographer Tim Hetherington during an assignment for Vanity Fair Magazine at the Restrepo outpost.
Tim A. Hetherington

War photographer Tim Hetherington said he thought war was wired into young men. And he risked, and ultimately gave, his life to capture these young men in photographs and video — in Liberia, Sierra Leone, Afghanistan and other war zones. Hetherington was killed by shrapnel from a mortar round while taking pictures in Libya in 2011, during the uprising against President Moammar Gadhafi.

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Around the Nation
1:15 pm
Wed April 17, 2013

'The Hell Of American Day Care': Expensive And 'Mediocre'

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 1:49 pm

In his cover story for the April 29 issue of The New Republic, "The Hell of American Day Care," Jonathan Cohn writes that "trusting your child with someone else is one of the hardest things a parent has to do — and in the U.S., it's harder still, because American day care is a mess. And about 40 percent of children under 5 spend at least part of their week in the care of somebody other than a parent."

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Music Reviews
10:52 am
Wed April 17, 2013

Brad Paisley's 'Wheelhouse' Of Good Songs — And Intentions

Brad Paisley's new album is titled Wheelhouse.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 1:15 pm

Brad Paisley's Wheelhouse is yet another very good album from a singer, songwriter and guitarist who's made a bunch of them in a row. It features a slew of shrewd songs about finding pleasure and comfort in a frequently unpleasant, uncomfortable world. The music includes a bone-cracking song about domestic violence written from a woman's point of view, one that praises Christian values from the perspective of a jealous skeptic, and one that samples the great Roger Miller as deftly as any hip-hop production.

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Interviews
10:07 am
Wed April 17, 2013

Marathoner Amby Burfoot: 'Every Mile Out There Is A Gift'

Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 1:15 pm

Transcript

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. When the bombs went off Monday, my guest Amby Burfoot was seven-tenths of a mile from the finish line. Burfoot has a special place in the history of the Boston Marathon - he was the winner 45 years ago in 1968. To celebrate the anniversary of his win every five years he runs the Boston Marathon again. Many runners have turned to Burfoot for advice over the years.

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Movie Reviews
2:28 pm
Tue April 16, 2013

'Central Park Five': Rape, Race And Blame Explored

A courtroom sketch from the first trial in the Central Park jogger case shows prosecutor Elizabeth Lederer (standing on right), the victim (on the stand) and defendants Yusef Salaam, Raymond Santana and Antron McCray (on left). The high-profile case is the subject of a Ken Burns documentary, The Central Park Five, airing on PBS this month.
Daniel J. White PBS

Ken Burns has said that no matter what subjects he tackles in his documentaries — baseball or jazz, Mark Twain or the Civil War — they always seem to boil down to two things: "race and place."

That's certainly true with his latest film, The Central Park Five, which tells of the violent assault and rape of a female jogger in 1989. The place was New York City — and because of citywide racial tensions at the time, the story was seized upon by New York tabloids and national TV newscasts alike.

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Author Interviews
2:16 pm
Tue April 16, 2013

How Evangelical Christians Are Preaching The New Gospel Of Adoption

We're used to thinking of adoption as a way for infertile couples or single people to start a family or take in a child in need of a home.

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Around the Nation
1:23 pm
Tue April 16, 2013

Boston Globe Columnist: 'A Little Bit Of Freedom Taken Away'

Originally published on Tue April 16, 2013 2:00 pm

Transcript

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm Terry Gross. We are so saddened and outraged by the bombings yesterday at the Boston Marathon - we're going to start the show, today, with a brief call to Dan Shaughnessy, a Boston Globe sports columnist who's covered many of the Boston Marathons. He's been named Massachusetts Sportswriter of the Year eight times and seven times has been voted one of America's top 10 sports columnists by AP sports editors.

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Author Interviews
1:05 pm
Mon April 15, 2013

Pretending To Be A 'Good Nurse,' Serial Killer Targeted Patients

In a new book, Charles Graeber tells the story of Charlie Cullen, a registered nurse who was was dubbed "The Angel of Death" by the media after he was implicated in the deaths of as many as 300 patients.
Twelve Books

Originally published on Mon April 15, 2013 2:55 pm

In 2003, police in Somerset County, N.J., arrested a hospital nurse named Charlie Cullen who was suspected of injecting patients with lethal doses of a variety of medications. Cullen would turn out to be one of the nation's most prolific serial killers, murdering dozens, perhaps hundreds of people in nine hospitals over a 16-year period.

Journalist Charles Graeber spent six years investigating the Cullen case, and is the only reporter to have spoken with Cullen in prison. In his new book, The Good Nurse, Graeber pieces together the elements of Cullen's story.

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Children's Health
12:18 pm
Mon April 15, 2013

The Doctor Trying To Solve The Mystery Of Food Allergies

matsou iStockPhoto

Originally published on Mon April 15, 2013 1:05 pm

No one is certain why food allergies are on the rise. By now nearly 15 million Americans have a food allergy, ranging from moderate to severe. One of every 13 children has one. Nuts, soy, milk, egg, wheat and shellfish are some of the foods that most commonly set off allergic reactions. In some cases, the reaction can be so severe that it results in the throat swelling up and closing, leading to death. For a child with a severe food allergy, every meal that isn't made under appropriate supervision can be hazardous.

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Fresh Air Weekend
8:03 am
Sat April 13, 2013

Fresh Air Weekend: Mormon 'Elders', Johnny Cash And Jherek Bischoff

A new 64-disc box offers a complete retrospective of the Man in Black's storied career.
Sony Music

Originally published on Sat April 13, 2013 9:03 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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Author Interviews
10:48 am
Fri April 12, 2013

Lemony Snicket Dons A Trenchcoat

Meredith Heuer Courtesy of Little, Brown & Co.

Originally published on Fri April 12, 2013 12:17 pm

This interview was originally broadcast on Dec. 10, 2012.

It has been more than six years since Daniel Handler, aka Lemony Snicket, concluded his enormously popular 13-volume young adult series, A Series of Unfortunate Events. Handler recently revived the Snicket narrator, however, in his YA novel Who Could That Be at This Hour?

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Movie Reviews
10:48 am
Fri April 12, 2013

Terrence Malick And Every Man's Journey 'To The Wonder'

Olga Kurylenko and Ben Affleck play two lovers in Terence Malick's latest film, To The Wonder.
Mary Cybulski Courtesy Magnolia Pictures

Originally published on Fri April 12, 2013 12:17 pm

The voiceovers from Terrence Malick's To the Wonder, which has a lot of them, are intoned on the soundtrack while the characters stare into sunrises or sunsets — whenever the light is right, what cinematographers call, "the magic hour." This film and Malick's last, The Tree of Life, suggest that he's evolved into a blend of director and Christian minister: These are psalms writ on film.

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Author Interviews
2:00 pm
Thu April 11, 2013

Living With Chronic Pain 'In The Kingdom Of The Sick'

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu April 11, 2013 2:28 pm

Laurie Edwards has a chronic respiratory disease so rare that she's met only one other person who has it — and that was through the Internet. In and out of hospitals her entire life, Edwards, now 32, wasn't accurately diagnosed until she was 23. Before they correctly identified her condition — primary ciliary dyskinesia (PCD), which is similar in some ways to cystic fibrosis — doctors thought she might be an atypical asthma patient, that she wasn't taking her medications correctly, or that her symptoms were perhaps brought on by stress.

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Book Reviews
2:00 pm
Thu April 11, 2013

Beauty Marks: Patricia Volk's Lessons In Womanhood

Patricia Volk is an essayist, novelist and memoirist. She grew up in a restaurant-owning family in New York City.
Random House

Originally published on Thu May 23, 2013 11:12 am

I've loved Patricia Volk's writing ever since I read her evocative 2002 memoir, Stuffed, which told the story of her grandfather — who introduced pastrami to America — as well as the rest of her family, who fed New Yorkers for more than 100 years in their various restaurants. Stuffed, like the best food memoirs, served up so much more on its plate than just a bagel and a schmear. So when I picked up Volk's new memoir, Shocked, my appetite was already whetted for the humor of her writing, its emotional complexity and smarts.

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Music Reviews
12:33 pm
Thu April 11, 2013

Earl Hines: Big Bands And Beyond On A New Box Set

Earl "Fatha" Hines' band featured the likes of Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie.
Express Getty Images

Originally published on Thu April 11, 2013 2:28 pm

By 1928, Earl Hines was jazz's most revolutionary pianist, for two good reasons. His right hand played lines in bright, clear octaves that could cut through a band. His left hand had a mind of its own. Hines could play fast stride and boogie bass patterns, but then his southpaw would go rogue — it'd seem to step out of the picture altogether, only to slide back just in time.

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National Security
10:07 am
Wed April 10, 2013

'The Way Of The Knife': Soldiers, Spies And Shadow Wars

Originally published on Wed April 10, 2013 1:10 pm

Transcript

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm Terry Gross. The CIA and the military have been transformed in ways that have blurred the boundaries between them. The shape of the new military intelligence complex is the subject of my guest Mark Mazzetti's new book, "The Way of the Knife." He writes: The CIA is no longer a traditional espionage service, devoted to stealing the secrets of foreign governments. The CIA has become a killing machine, an organization consumed with man-hunting.

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Music Reviews
10:07 am
Wed April 10, 2013

Johnny Cash's Columbia Catalog Out Now — As A 64-Disc Box Set

A new 63-disc box offers a complete retrospective of the Man in Black's storied career.
Sony Music

Originally published on Thu April 11, 2013 4:00 pm

In 1955, John R. Cash was a sometime auto mechanic, sometime appliance salesman who liked to play the guitar and sing, mostly gospel songs. The "R" in his name didn't stand for anything — and, in fact, he'd been named J.R. at birth and had to come up with "John" when he joined the Air Force. He'd spend the rest of his life reinventing himself.

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Remembrances
11:28 am
Tue April 9, 2013

Remembering Annette Funicello, America's Mouseketeer

Originally published on Tue April 9, 2013 1:05 pm

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. We're going to remember Annette Funicello. She died yesterday at the age of 70 from complications of multiple sclerosis, which she had had for more than 25 years.

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Music Interviews
11:03 am
Tue April 9, 2013

Jherek Bischoff Crafts A Symphonic Sound On 'Composed'

Jherek Bischoff's new album is titled Composed.
Angel Ceballos Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue April 9, 2013 1:05 pm

For years, Jherek Bischoff has played in indie-rock bands, including Amanda Palmer's Grand Theft Orchestra. But on his new album, Composed, he found himself moving away from a rock sound and writing his own orchestral arrangements.

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