Fresh Air

Weekdays 4:00 pm & Repeats Monday-Thursday12:00 AM
  • Hosted by Terry Gross

Fresh Air opens the window on contemporary arts and issues with guests from worlds as diverse as literature and economics. 

Photo Credit: Dan Burke

  

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.

Listen to recent stories, or whole programs here on the Fresh Air NPR page:

www.npr.org/programs/fresh-air

Andre Chung / politico.com

On today’s Fresh Air, former White House staffer Ben Rhodes.  He was a speechwriter, and deputy national security adviser to President Obama. He’s written a memoir about his eight years in the White House called The World As It Is: A Memoir of the Obama White House. He talks about some intense moments with the President including the response to the Arab Spring and the controversy surrounding the Bengazi attack. He also talks about the 2016 election and President Obama’s reaction to Donald Trump’s victory.

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Today, former Major league baseball first baseman Keith Hernandez.  He played on World Series teams with the Cardinals and Mets, and made a memorable appearance on Seinfeld. His new memoir is about learning baseball, and about his struggles trying to make it in the game. Also, Jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews El Maquech, the new album by trumpeter Adam O'Farrill's quartet Stranger Days.  O'Farrill is the grandson of Afro-Cuban jazz composer Chico O'Farrill and son of pianist and leader of the Afro Cuban Jazz Orchestra Arturo O'Farrill.

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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On the acknowledgments page of her new short story collection, Florida, Lauren Groff thanks Florida, where she lives and which she calls the "sunniest and strangest of states."

Strange this collection certainly is, but sunny? Not so much. These are Southern Gothic-inflected tales of hurricanes, humidity and sudden sheets of tropical rain that create sinkholes and send snakes, raccoons and palmetto bugs writhing and running into living rooms for shelter.

Ben King / Courtesy of HBO

Novelist Tom Perrotta’s book Mrs. Fletcher, now out in paperback, is about how a single mother and her son are both transformed when he goes off to college. Perrotta’s previous novels Election and Little Children were both adapted to film.  His book The Leftovers, about the people left behind after many others have instantly disappeared in what may or may not be the Rapture, was adapted into a popular HBO series.

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Growing up in his grandmother's home in Durham, N.C., in the era of Jim Crow, former Vogue magazine editor André Leon Talley often felt like a misfit. Bullied for his clothes — which he describes as beautiful, but not overly flashy — he remembers feeling alone.

Then, when he was around 9 or 10, he stumbled onto an issue of Vogue at the public library. Paging through the magazine, he was captivated — it was was like traveling down a "rabbit hole," he says, into "a world of glamour."

So Longhand: Has Cursive Reached The End Of The Line?

May 31, 2018

Geoff Nunberg (@GeoffNunberg) is a linguist who teaches at the School of Information at the University of California at Berkeley.

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I didn't know how much I needed a laugh until I began reading Stephen McCauley's new novel, My Ex-Life. This is the kind of witty, sparkling, sharp novel for which the verb "chortle" was invented.

I found myself "chortling" out loud at so many scenes, I even took screenshots of certain pages and started texting them to friends. Some of those friends texted back, "Love this!" or, "Send more, quick!" To which I replied, "Support the arts! Buy the book!"

From intestinal distress to family dysfunction, writer David Sedaris has spent decades sharing some of the most intimate aspects of his life. Still, there are some topics that make him uncomfortable.

"Nothing makes me more self-conscious writing in my diary than if I'm writing about something good," he says.

Cataloging achievements or compliments doesn't sit well with him: "I just think, 'God, if anyone were to find this diary, I would look so bad, congratulating myself here,' " he says.

Copyright 2018 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Copyright 2018 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

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 legend goes like this: On Valentine's Day 1900, at a remote prep school for young women outside Melbourne, Australia, several students and their teacher slipped away from a holiday picnic, ventured to a steep and storied landmark named Hanging Rock — and vanished.

Fresh Air Remembers Novelist Philip Roth

May 25, 2018

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Novelist Philip Roth "discovered" his own books as he wrote them. "I don't know anything in the beginning, which makes it great fun to write ..." he told Fresh Air in 2006. "You begin every book as an amateur. ... Gradually, by writing sentence after sentence, the book, as it were, reveals itself to you. ... Each and every sentence is a revelation."

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Zsa Zsa Gabor, who was married nine times, once joked that diamonds aren't a girl's best friend — divorce lawyers are. The price and permutations of breaking up are the theme of The Split, a sleek new British series showing on Sundance TV. Created by Abi Morgan, who wrote The Iron Lady and The Hour, this six-part show centers around members of the Defoe family, high-end lawyers specializing in marital issues whose own private lives are — don't be shocked now! — as furtive and messy as the cases they're handling.

Copyright 2018 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Copyright 2018 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Copyright 2018 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

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:

Copyright 2018 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

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