Airs Monday through Thursday at 2pm on 93.9 FM; Airs Monday through Friday att 9pm on AM 820 and NJPR
"If you want to understand a political conflict, it helps to understand the culture in which that conflict is taking place," says host Terry Gross. Fresh Air is one of the most popular programs on public radio, breaking the "talk show" mold, and Gross is known for her fearless and insightful interviews with prominent figures in American arts, politics, and popular culture. "When there is a crisis in a foreign country, we sometimes call up that country's leading novelist or filmmaker to get the cultural perspective." Fresh Air features daily reports and reviews from critics and commentators on music, books, movies, and other cultural phenomena that invade the national psyche.
Latest Stories from Fresh Air
Tuesday, October 06 2015 09:00 PM
Chef Michael Solomonov sees his mission as connecting people to the food of his homeland. "That, to me, is my life's work," he says. Solomonov's new cookbook is 'Zahav: A World of Israeli Cooking.' Ken Tucker reviews Los Lobos' album 'Gates of Gold,' and TV critic David Bianculli reviews 'American Horror Story: Hotel,' starring Lady Gaga.
Monday, October 05 2015 09:00 PM
Mexican-born journalist Jorge Ramos moved to the U.S. in 1983. "I am glad that I came," he says. "The First Amendment has given me all the opportunities that I couldn't have in Mexico." Jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews singer Jen Shyu's album 'Sounds And Cries Of the World.'
Saturday, October 03 2015 01:00 AM
Author D. Watkins discusses growing up during Baltimore's crack epidemic. Maureen Corrigan reviews Jojo Moyes' novel, 'After You.' "Street doctor" James O'Connell treats Boston's most isolated patients, the homeless.
Friday, October 02 2015 09:00 PM
In the '50s, four people collaborated to create a pill that would allow women to enjoy sex. Jonathan Eig details the history in 'The Birth of the Pill.' [Originally broadcast Oct. 2014.] David Edelstein reviews 'The Martian.'
Thursday, October 01 2015 09:00 PM
Author D. Watkins says that crack destroyed his East Baltimore neighborhood. "Everybody's parents were junkies, and all the kids were selling or using," he says. His new book is 'The Beast Side.' Book critic Maureen Corrigan reviews Jojo Moyes' novel 'After You.'
Wednesday, September 30 2015 09:00 PM
Journalist Joby Warrick, author of 'Black Flags,' traces the Islamic State's development from an al-Qaida-related insurgency in Iraq to a successful jihadist movement that now holds territory in Syria and Iraq.
Tuesday, September 29 2015 09:00 PM
James O'Connell refers to himself as a "street doctor." Since 1985, he has cared for homeless patients in Boston, sometimes making visits on park benches or in alleys. His memoir is 'Stories from the Shadows.' David Bianculli gives his first impression of Trevor Noah's 'Daily Show' debut.
Monday, September 28 2015 09:00 PM
Palliative care nurse Theresa Brown provides in-home, end-of-life care to patients. "It's incredible the love that people evoke" at the end of their lives, she says. Brown's new book is 'The Shift.' Julliette Binoche plays Antigone in a new translation of Sophocles' 2,000-year-old tragedy. The Oscar-winning actress spoke to Fresh Air contributor Anna Sale about acting, aging, and family.
Saturday, September 26 2015 01:00 AM
As the Pope visits the U.S. for the first time, journalist Paul Vallely discuses the reforms Francis is making within the Church as well as the teachings that the pope is unlikely to change. Jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews a new edition of Erroll Garner's 'Concert by the Sea.' Dr. Elisa Port, a surgeon who specializes in the care and treatment of patients with breast cancer, says survival rates are better than ever. Her new book is 'The New Generation Breast Cancer Book.'
Friday, September 25 2015 09:00 PM
The mezzo-soprano discovered opera as a 22-year-old pre-med student. She took "a crack at a singing career" and has been at the Metropolitan Opera for 25 years. [Originally broadcast March 2014.] David Edelstein reviews '99 Homes.'
Thursday, September 24 2015 09:00 PM
On Saturday, comic Jim Gaffigan will be performing in Philadelphia for an audience that may include Pope Francis. A practicing Catholic, the comic says faith is a central part of his humor. Classical music critic Lloyd Schwartz reviews the soundtrack of 'The Golden Apple.'
Wednesday, September 23 2015 09:00 PM
In 'The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution,' Stanley Nelson interviews former party leaders, police officers who clashed with the Panthers and an FBI informant who infiltrated the group. Milo Miles reviews Banda De Los Muertos' debut album.
Tuesday, September 22 2015 09:00 PM
Dr. Elisa Port, a surgeon who specializes in the care and treatment of patients with breast cancer, says survival rates are better than ever. Her new book is 'The New Generation Breast Cancer Book.' We remember Jack Larson, who played Jimmy Olsen on the original 'Superman' TV show in an excerpt of his 1993 interview. Maureen Corrigan reviews Lauren Groff's novel, 'Fates and Furies.'
Monday, September 21 2015 09:00 PM
In 2010, Mayor Cory Booker, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg devised a plan to improve Newark's failing schools. Dale Russakoff recounts their efforts in 'The Prize.' TV critic David Bianculli reflects on the Emmy ceremony held last night and looks ahead at the new fall TV season. Jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews a new edition of Erroll Garner's 'Concert by the Sea.'
Saturday, September 19 2015 01:00 AM
Mary Karr discusses the faults of memory, the challenges of writing about loved ones and the pain of deleting 1,200 pages because "there was something untrue about them." Her new book is 'The Art of Memoir.' Nadia Bolz-Weber was a stand-up-comic with a drinking problem who opened up a church for people who didn't belong. "My job is to ... remind people that they're absolutely loved," she says. Her new memoir is 'Accidental Saints: Finding God in All the Wrong People.'
Friday, September 18 2015 09:00 PM
The guitarist for the Rolling Stones has a new solo album, 'Crosseyed Heart.' Richards is also the subject of the new Netflix documentary, 'Under the Influence.' [Originally broadcast Oct. 25, 2010.] David Edelstein reviews 'Sicario.'
Thursday, September 17 2015 09:00 PM
Nadia Bolz-Weber was a stand-up-comic with a drinking problem who opened up a church for people who didn't belong. "My job is to ... remind people that they're absolutely loved," she says. Her new memoir is 'Accidental Saints.' Ken Tucker reviews Grace Potter's new album, 'Midnight.'
Wednesday, September 16 2015 09:00 PM
On the eve of the Pope's first visit to the U.S., journalist Paul Vallely discuses the reforms Francis is making within the Church as well as the teachings that the pope is unlikely to change. TV critic David Bianculli reviews the premiere of Neil Patrick Harris' variety show 'Best Time Ever.'
Tuesday, September 15 2015 09:00 PM
Mary Karr discusses the faults of memory, the challenges of writing about loved ones and the pain of deleting 1,200 pages because "there was something untrue about them." Her new book is 'The Art of Memoir.'
Monday, September 14 2015 09:00 PM
In 'Operation Troy', author Scott Shane details the life, death and influence of Anwar al-Awlaki. "His status as a martyr has given his message even greater authority," Shane says of the propagandist. Jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews 'Canada Day IV.'
Saturday, September 12 2015 01:00 AM
'New Yorker' staff writer Evan Osnos discusses his article about Trump's white nationalist support. Sportswriter Lonnie Wheeler talks about his new book 'Intangiball.' It's about the intangible ways baseball players help their teams win. Alison Brie played Pete Campbell's wife Trudy in 'Mad Men.' In 'Community,' she played Annie Edison. Brie now stars alongside Jason Sudeikis in the new movie 'Sleeping with Other People.'
Friday, September 11 2015 09:00 PM
Songwriter John Darnielle talks about his difficult childhood, finding refuge in music, and his novel, 'Wolf in White Van.' [Originally broadcast September 2014] Film critic David Edelstein reviews 'Sleeping With Other People,' starring Alison Brie and Jason Sudeikis.
Thursday, September 10 2015 09:00 PM
With a scarcity of jobs during the Depression, more than a million Mexican-Americans were sent to Mexico. Author, Francisco Balderrama estimates that 60 percent were American citizens. Rock critic Ken Tucker reviews Carly Rae Jepsen's new album 'Emotion.' Book critic Maureen Corrigan reviews Elena Ferrante's final novel in the Neapolitan series, 'The Story of the Lost Child.'
Wednesday, September 09 2015 09:00 PM
Alison Brie played Pete Campbell's wife Trudy in 'Mad Men.' In 'Community,' she played Annie Edison. Brie now stars alongside Jason Sudeikis in the new movie 'Sleeping with Other People.' Also Dr. Damon Tweedy talks about his new memoir 'Black Man in a White Coat: A Doctor's Reflections on Race and Medicine.' And TV critic David Bianculli reviews the premiere of 'The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.'
Tuesday, September 08 2015 09:00 PM
Pulitzer Prize winning cultural critic Margo Jefferson calls the region she's from, 'Negroland.' She describes it as a 'small region of Negro America where residents were sheltered by a certain amount of privilege and plenty.' 'Negroland' is also the title of Jefferson's new memoir. And, sportswriter Lonnie Wheeler talks about his new book 'Intangiball.' It's about the intangible ways baseball players help their teams win.
Monday, September 07 2015 09:00 PM
One of our favorite recent interviews with comic Louis C.K. He'll talk about some of his formative experiences, like doing drugs when he was a kid. And he'll tell us how he got his start in standup, and how his comedy evolved.
Saturday, September 05 2015 01:00 AM
The author of the bestsellers 'The Corrections' and 'Freedom,' talks about his new novel, 'Purity.' Also, science writer Steve Silberman, author of the new book, NeuroTribes, discusses how our understanding of autism has changed over the decades, and how myths about autism caught on.
Friday, September 04 2015 09:00 PM
We remember director Wes Craven by listening back to several interviews Terry Gross recorded with him over the years. Craven, who is best known for his horror films 'Scream,' and 'A Nightmare on Elm Street' died Sunday, August 30th. Also, critic Milo Miles reviews a new collection of songs by Argentina's most famous pop star. And commentator Jessica Grose considers the challenges of parenting when pre-schools are making it harder for working parents.
Thursday, September 03 2015 09:00 PM
The New Yorker staff writer Evan Osnos discusses his article about Trump's white nationalist support. Also linguist Geoff Nunberg examines new attacks on the word "so" and considers whether "so" is being overused.
Wednesday, September 02 2015 09:00 PM
Science writer Steve Silberman talks about how different factors — including Nazi extermination plans and a (now discredited) journal article about vaccines — have shaped our current understanding of autism. Book critic Maureen Corrigan reviews Jonathan Franzen's new novel, 'Purity.'
Tuesday, September 01 2015 09:00 PM
The author of 'The Corrections' and the new novel 'Purity' likens writing to losing himself in a dream. "When it's really going well ... you're in a fantasy land and feeling no pain," he says.
Monday, August 31 2015 09:00 PM
The neurologist, who died Sunday, saw "infinitely moving, dramatic, romantic situations" during his decades studying the human brain. Fresh Air remembers Sacks with interviews from 1985 and 2012.
Saturday, August 29 2015 01:00 AM
The musical and graphic novel 'Fun Home' describe Alison Bechdel's coming out, and her dad's closeted homosexuality. She says, "In many ways ... my professional career has been a reaction to my father's life." 'Fun Home' won five Tonys this year, including the award for best musical. Lyricst Lisa Kron and composer Jeanine Tesori join Bechdel in the conversation. Sarah Hepola once got so drunk that she gave a presentation to 300 people — and didn't remember a thing the next day. She wrestles with her reasons for drinking in the memoir 'Blackout.'
Friday, August 28 2015 09:00 PM
From 'Batman' to 'Birdman,' Michael Keaton knows suits and superheroes. The actor talks about his Oscar-nominated performance and growing up the youngest of seven kids. [Originally broadcast February 2015] Jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews the debut album from vocalist Tiffany Austin.
Thursday, August 27 2015 09:00 PM
Writer Chris Offutt's late father went from running a small insurance agency to writing more than 400 books, mostly pornography. Offutt discusses his father's career. Also, Larry David talks about his Broadway show 'Fish in the Dark,' and how his character on 'Curb Your Enthusiasm' changed him in real life. [Originally broadcast March 2015]
Wednesday, August 26 2015 09:00 PM
Actor Adam Driver of 'Girls' stars in Noah Baumbach's film, 'While We're Young.' He talks about leaving the Marines for Juilliard, doing sex scenes in 'Girls,' and why he'll never watch his own performances. [Originally broadcast April 2015] John Powers reviews the the USA series 'Mr.Robot.'
Tuesday, August 25 2015 09:00 PM
Richard Price says that in every precinct there's one cop who just can't let go of a case. "They all reminded me of Ahab looking for their whales," he says. Price's latest is called 'The Whites.' [Originally broadcast February 2015] TV critic David Bianculli reviews 'Public Morals,' a new police drama set in the '60s.
Monday, August 24 2015 09:00 PM
Nobel Prize-winning writer Toni Morrison discusses her new novel, 'God Help the Child.' At 84, she looks back on her life and says she regrets everything. "It's not profound regret," she says. "It's just a wiping up of tiny little messes that you didn't recognize as mess when they were going on." [Originally broadcast April 2015] Book critic Maureen Corrigan reviews a short story collection called 'A Manual for Cleaning Women.'
Saturday, August 22 2015 01:00 AM
Larry Wilmore discusses Bill Cosby, being a "blerd" (black nerd), and the advice Jon Stewart gave him. He hosts his 100th episode of 'The Nightly Show' this week. John Powers reviews the new documentary 'Best of Enemies' about the 1968 debates between William F. Buckley and Gore Vidal — who hated each other. Actress Lily Tomlin stars in the film 'Grandma' and with Jane Fonda in the Netflix series 'Grace and Frankie.' We discuss her life and work, including her marrying her long, long time partner Jane Wagner a year and a half ago.
Friday, August 21 2015 09:00 PM
Human rights lawyer Bryan Stevenson represents those who have been abandoned. His clients are people on death row — abused and neglected children who were prosecuted as adults and placed in adult prisons where they were beaten and sexually abused, and mentally disabled people whose illnesses helped land them in prison where their special needs were unmet. "I'm not persuaded that the opposite of poverty is wealth," he says. "I've come to believe ... that the opposite of poverty is justice." David Edelstein reviews mountain climbing documentary 'Meru.'
Thursday, August 20 2015 09:00 PM
From self-driving cars to automated warehouses, humans are being pushed out of the equation. Soon, robots will "do a million other things we can't even conceive of," author John Markoff says. TV critic David Bianculli reviews the IFC spoof 'Documentary Now!' and the prequel series 'Fear the Walking Dead.'
Wednesday, August 19 2015 09:00 PM
The host discusses Bill Cosby, being a "blerd" (black nerd), and the advice Jon Stewart gave him. He hosts his 100th episode of 'The Nightly Show' this week.
Tuesday, August 18 2015 09:00 PM
Actress Lily Tomlin stars in the film 'Grandma' and with Jane Fonda in the Netflix series 'Grace and Frankie.' We discuss her life and work, including her marrying her long, long time partner Jane Wagner a year and a half ago. John Powers reviews the new documentary 'Best of Enemies' about the 1968 debates between William F. Buckley and Gore Vidal — who hated each other. Jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews the new album by the Maria Schneider Orchestra.
Monday, August 17 2015 09:00 PM
The musical and graphic novel 'Fun Home' describe Bechdel's coming out, and her dad's closeted homosexuality. She says, "In many ways ... my professional career has been a reaction to my father's life." 'Fun Home' won five Tonys this year, including the award for best musical. Lyricst Lisa Kron and composer Jeanine Tesori join Bechdel in the conversation.
Saturday, August 15 2015 01:00 AM
Some 30,000 African elephants die each year as a result of poaching. Journalist Bryan Christy wanted to see where their tusks were going, so he created fake tusks and embedded them with GPS trackers. Justin Chang reviews 'Mistress America' starring Greta Gerwig. Graphic artist and professor Phoebe Gloeckner wrote the graphic novel, 'The Diary of a Teenage Girl,' based on her experience losing her virginity to her mother's boyfriend when she was 15. Filmmaker Marielle Heller adapted the story into a new movie.
Friday, August 14 2015 09:00 PM
The late writer David Foster Wallace spoke to Terry Gross in 1997 when 'Infinite Jest' was published in paperback. He talks about irony, happiness, and why he doesn't have a TV. He is the subject of the new film, 'The End of the Tour,' starring Jason Segel and Jesse Eisenberg. Segel was on 'Fresh Air' in 2009. He discusses breakups, bromance, and growing up on 'Freaks and Geeks.' Finally, David Bianculli reviews HBO's miniseries 'Show Me A Hero,' by David Simon, creator of 'The Wire.'
Thursday, August 13 2015 09:00 PM
When she was 15, Phoebe Gloeckner lost her virginity to her mother's boyfriend. Gloeckner wrote about the experience in 'The Diary of a Teenage Girl,' which Marielle Heller adapted into a film. We begin with a review of the film from David Edelstein.
Wednesday, August 12 2015 09:00 PM
Some 30,000 African elephants die each year as a result of poaching. Journalist Bryan Christy wanted to see where their tusks were going, so he created fake tusks and embedded them with GPS trackers. Also, Ken Tucker reviews Iris DeMent's new album of poetry set to music, 'The Trackless Woods.'
Tuesday, August 11 2015 10:00 PM
American sex laws have not always kept pace with society's changing standards. In 'The Boundaries of Desire,' Eric Berkowitz explores how the legal system has addressed sex in the last century. Book critic Maureen Corrigan reviews 'A Tour of Bones.' In 'Do Not Sell At Any Price,' Amanda Petrusich details the extreme measures collectors take in pursuit of rare 78rpm records.
Monday, August 10 2015 09:00 PM
The Voting Rights Act of 1965 outlawed racial discrimination in voting. But author Ari Berman says a 2013 Supreme Court ruling blocks the act's enforcement — and opened the door for new restrictions.