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
12:25 pm
Mon September 8, 2014

How 'Gatsby' Went From A Moldering Flop To A Great American Novel

A first edition of F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby was displayed at the London International Antiquarian Book Fair in 2013. Book critic Maureen Corrigan — who calls the cover "striking" — says she likes to think that if it landed on her porch today among the more than 200 books she receives a week, she would read it.
Oli Scarff Getty Images

Originally published on Tue September 9, 2014 1:53 pm

When book critic Maureen Corrigan first read F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby in high school, she was unimpressed.

"Not a lot happens in Gatsby," Corrigan tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "It's not a plot-driven novel and I also thought, 'Eh, it's another novel about rich people.' And I grew up in a blue-collar community."

She also couldn't relate, she says, because it doesn't feature any likeable female characters.

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Fresh Air Weekend
11:09 am
Sat September 6, 2014

Fresh Air Weekend: Neil Oxman, The New Pornographers, Dana Goldstein

Dana Goldstein has reported on education for several years, including in The Atlantic and The Daily Beast. Her new book is The Teacher Wars.
Michael Lionstar Courtesy of Doubleday

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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Remembrances
2:51 pm
Fri September 5, 2014

With Age, Joan Rivers Learned To Say Anything: 'It Has Freed Me Totally'

In 2009, Rivers presented "Comedy Roast with Joan Rivers" in Cannes, southeastern France.
Lionel Cironneau AP

Originally published on Fri September 5, 2014 3:17 pm

Since the '60s, when Joan Rivers broke into the standup comedy scene aggressively and impressively, her act evolved into an intentionally brash showcase of "Can we talk?" confessionals. In her later years, she became much looser with her sharp tongue — sometimes even brutal and caustic.

Rivers died Thursday in New York. She was 81.

It was her age, she said, that opened her up to say whatever she wanted — without fear.

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National Security
2:53 pm
Thu September 4, 2014

Reporter Reflects On Obama's Stalled Effort to Close Guantanamo

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Television
12:56 pm
Thu September 4, 2014

In 'The Chair,' Two Filmmakers Make Movies From The Same Script

One of the competitors on The Chair is Anna Martemucci, a graduate of New York University film school who has written and acted before, but never directed.
Helena Lukas Martemucci 2014 Chair One Productions

Originally published on Thu September 4, 2014 10:18 pm

Here's where I stand on so-called reality TV. All those shows that are built around people misbehaving to get attention and claw for fame — in other words, all those Real Housewives shows, and every Big Brother and any show like it — I have absolutely no use for.

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Music Reviews
12:56 pm
Thu September 4, 2014

In Tenor Saxophonist Mark Turner's New Album, The Music Unfolds Like A Narrative

Mark Turner.
Paolo Soriani ECM Records

Originally published on Fri September 5, 2014 6:38 pm

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Book Reviews
1:27 pm
Wed September 3, 2014

'10:04': A Strange, Spectacular Novel Connecting Several Plotlines

I admired Ben Lerner's last novel a lot; in fact, I ended my review of Leaving the Atocha Station by saying that "reading it was unlike any other novel-reading experience I've had for a long time." I could say the very same thing about Lerner's brilliant new novel, 10:04, which leads me to wonder: Just how many singular reading experiences can one novelist serve up? And if every one of Lerner's novels is singular, doesn't that make them, in a way, repetitive?

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Politics
1:27 pm
Wed September 3, 2014

Campaign Expert Neil Oxman Talks About How He Makes Political Ads

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Music Reviews
1:13 pm
Wed September 3, 2014

The New Pornographers Return With A 'Celebration Record' That's Fun To Figure Out

Originally published on Wed September 3, 2014 1:27 pm

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Music Reviews
12:41 pm
Mon September 1, 2014

The Story Of Little Feat's Fame, Destruction And Revival

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Music Interviews
12:41 pm
Mon September 1, 2014

Dom Flemons Holds On To Those Old-Time Roots

Prospect Hill is Flemons' first album since leaving the band Carolina Chocolate Drops. By coincidence, the multi-instrumentalist recorded the album the day Pete Seeger died.

Originally broadcast July 30.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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DOM FLEMONS: (Scat singing). Oh, yeah.

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Author Interviews
12:14 pm
Fri August 29, 2014

Florida-Grown Fiction: Hiaasen Satirizes The Sunshine State

Novelist and Miami Herald columnist Carl Hiaasen writes with passion and purpose about the state he loves. His latest book, Bad Monkey, is an offbeat murder mystery set in Key West.

Originally broadcast June 13, 2013.

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Author Interviews
12:14 pm
Fri August 29, 2014

John Waters Hitchhikes Across America, And Lives To Write About It

The 68-year-old film director hitchhiked from Baltimore to San Francisco for his book Carsick. He says hitchhiking is "the worst beauty regimen ever" and admits he always kept his luggage with him.

Originally broadcast June 10.

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Television
12:57 pm
Wed August 27, 2014

Louis C.K. Reflects On 'Louie,' Loss, Love And Life

C.K. won an Emmy for outstanding writing in a comedy series for an episode on his FX show Louie. In 2011, C.K. told Fresh Air about making his comedy special and his relationship with other comedians.

Originally broadcast Dec. 13, 2011.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Television
12:57 pm
Wed August 27, 2014

Aaron Paul On Playing A Meth Dealer On 'Breaking Bad'

Paul won the Emmy for outstanding supporting actor in a drama series for playing student-turned-drug dealer Jesse Pinkman. In 2011, he said his character was supposed to die in the first season.

Originally broadcast Sept. 19, 2011.

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Interviews
12:57 pm
Wed August 27, 2014

Sarah Silverman Discusses Her Movie 'Jesus Is Magic'

Silverman won the Emmy for best writing for a variety special for her HBO special We Are Miracles. In 2005, she spoke with Fresh Air about her movie based on her acts in New York and Los Angeles.

Originally broadcast Nov. 09, 2005.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Performing Arts
12:45 pm
Tue August 26, 2014

From Walter White To LBJ, Bryan Cranston Is A Master Of Transformation

While Breaking Bad fans were watching him portray Walt in the series' final episodes, Cranston was already reinventing himself — playing Lyndon B. Johnson in the play All the Way.

Originally broadcast March 27.

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Music Reviews
12:45 pm
Tue August 26, 2014

At 71, Elvin Bishop Is Still Vigorous, And Can Do Wrong Right

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Television
12:25 pm
Mon August 25, 2014

Allison Janney On Sex, Sorkin And Being The Tallest Woman In The Room

Allison Janney has been nominated for Emmys for her roles on Masters of Sex and Mom. She says her relationships with her family members helped inform her characters.

Originally broadcast Aug. 4.

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Fresh Air Weekend
10:32 am
Sat August 23, 2014

Fresh Air Weekend: 'The Simpsons' And Author Stephan Eirik Clark

FXX started airing all 552 episodes of The Simpsons Aug. 21 in the longest single-series marathon in TV history.
AP

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
2:51 pm
Fri August 22, 2014

Werner Herzog Talks About Madmen And Caves In Interviews From 'Fresh Air' Archives

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Music
2:51 pm
Fri August 22, 2014

Benjamin Booker Is Raw, Yet Disciplined On Debut Album

There's something about a rapidly strummed guitar chord followed quickly by an urgent vocal that is one definition of an effective rock song, and Fresh Air critic Ken Tucker thinks he's found quite a few examples of this on Benjamin Booker's self-titled debut album. The 25-year-old guitarist-singer-songwriter has already served as an opening act on Jack White's recent tour, and he may be ready for headliner status.

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Movie Reviews
1:31 pm
Fri August 22, 2014

Werner Herzog's Audacious Early Films Showcased In New Boxed Collection

Werner Herzog's 1972 film Aguirre, the Wrath of God was shot along the Amazon in Peru. It probes one of the filmmaker's themes: an unsentimental look at humankind's relationship to landscape and nature.
Courtesy of The Shout! Factory

Originally published on Fri August 22, 2014 2:51 pm

There are lots of good filmmakers, but only a handful are always, unmistakably themselves. One of these is Werner Herzog, the 71-year-old German director who now lives in L.A. Herzog has done things nobody else would do for a film — like trying to tug a 350-ton steamship over a small mountain. This has made him notorious as a wild, love-him-or-hate-him monomaniac — an image he's been canny enough to milk.

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Middle East
1:34 pm
Thu August 21, 2014

GlobalPost CEO Shares Details Of Fight To Save James Foley

GlobalPost co-founder and CEO Phil Balboni says what he'll remember about Foley (above) is the way he showed "such incredible courage" as his captors took his life.
Steven Senne AP

Originally published on Thu August 21, 2014 3:00 pm

During the nearly two years that journalist James Foley was held hostage in Syria, before he was killed by the Islamic State this week, Phil Balboni worked hard to get him released.

Balboni is the co-founder and CEO of the online international news company GlobalPost, which Foley was freelancing for at the time of his capture, in November 2012. Foley also was freelancing for GlobalPost when he was captured in Libya by dictator Moammar Gadhafi's forces, in 2011, and held for 44 days.

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Music
1:02 pm
Thu August 21, 2014

A Sleek And Busy Walk With Jean-Luc Ponty

Originally published on Fri August 22, 2014 6:56 am

French jazz violinist Jean-Luc Ponty played the Monterey Jazz Festival in 1967, which led to his getting an American record contract, and playing with George Duke, Frank Zappa, and the Mahavishnu Orchestra. Then he started his own jazz-rock fusion bands. Fresh Air critic Kevin Whitehead says before Ponty came to the States, he already had his concept.

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Book Reviews
1:01 pm
Thu August 21, 2014

Nostalgic For Noir? Feiffer's 'Kill My Mother' Is A Toxic Treat

Originally published on Fri August 22, 2014 6:56 am

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Television
1:30 pm
Wed August 20, 2014

Prepare For 'The Simpsons' Marathon With Interviews From The 'Fresh Air' Archives

Starting Thursday, FXX will air all 552 episodes of The Simpsons in the longest single-series marathon in TV history.
AP

Originally published on Thu August 21, 2014 1:10 pm

If you've ever been a fan of The Simpsons, here's your chance to see all 552 episodes of the show in the longest single-series marathon in TV history. They'll be shown back to back, in sequential order, over 12 days and nights on the FXX cable network beginning Thursday.

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Shots - Health News
2:25 pm
Tue August 19, 2014

Cardiologist Speaks From The Heart About America's Medical System

Originally published on Tue August 19, 2014 6:47 pm

As a young doctor working at a teaching hospital, Sandeep Jauhar was having trouble making ends meet. So, like other academic physicians, he took a job moonlighting at a private practice, the offices of a cardiologist. He noticed that the offices were quick to order expensive tests for their patients — even when they seemed unnecessary.

It was "made very clear from the beginning" that seeing patients alone was not financially rewarding for the business, he says.

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Remembrances
2:17 pm
Tue August 19, 2014

'Fresh Air' Remembers Former Vermont Sen. James Jeffords

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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This is FRESH AIR.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG)

SINGING SENATORS: (Singing) God bless America, land that I love. Stand beside her and guide her through the night with the light from above. From the mountains to the prairies, to the...

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Music
2:17 pm
Tue August 19, 2014

With Both Farce And Feeling, Currentzis' 'Figaro' Succeeds Magnificently

There are many recordings of Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro. Do we need another? In the case of this new recording led by the young Greek conductor Teodor Currentzis, Fresh Air classical music critic Lloyd Schwartz says, "Absolutely."

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