Fresh Air

M-Th 7p
  • Hosted by Terry Gross

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

Fresh Air's Terry Gross
Credit Will Ryan

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.

Copyright 2020 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm Terry Gross.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. Lily King's 2014 novel "Euphoria" was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and made most critics' best books list that year. King has just brought out her fifth novel called "Writers & Lovers," and our book critic Maureen Corrigan says it's another winner.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm Terry Gross. Over the past week the ruler of Saudi Arabia, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, has provoked an oil price war with Russia, sending energy and stock markets into a tailspin, and ordered the detention of four senior members of the country's royal family. Our guest, New York Times reporter Ben Hubbard, says no one should be surprised by erratic behavior from the crown prince, who is probably best known for his association with the grisly murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi carried out by his agents in Turkey.

Copyright 2020 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Fans of the VH1 reality show RuPaul's Drag Race know that every episode ends with a mantra. After finishing the weekly challenge, the drag queens competing for the title of "America's Next Drag Superstar" (and a hefty cash prize) gather on the runway before host RuPaul Charles, where the drag icon proclaims: "If you can't love yourself, how in the hell you gonna love somebody else?"

Copyright 2020 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Growing up in a housing project in Red Hook, Brooklyn, writer James McBride felt a sense of community and freedom that was incomparable to anywhere else.

"It was the sense of being in a village, and a sense of us against the world," he says. "You know who everybody is, you know who not to mess with."

On the surface, McBride didn't quite fit in; his African American father died shortly before McBride was born, leaving him and his siblings to be raised by their white mother.

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:

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm Dave Davies, in for Terry Gross, who's off this week. Some journalists are great at breaking news. Others like digging into their subjects for weeks or months for investigative stories. Our guest today, Robert Caro, has spent decades burrowing into the lives and careers of two men who he says were masters at accumulating and wielding political power.

Copyright 2020 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

Copyright 2020 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm Dave Davies in for Terry Gross. Our guest today is author Louise Erdrich. In a career going back to the 1970s, she's published 17 novels and more than 30 books in all, including children's literature, poetry and nonfiction. She won the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award for fiction twice.

The other day I went to a party and wound up talking to some millennials who are backing Bernie Sanders. The conversation turned to the movies Parasite and Joker, and one of them wondered if the popularity of their shared theme — the abyss between the haves and have nots — meant we might be returning to the rebellious 1960s.

In 2014, wilderness explorer Roman Dial experienced every parent's nightmare when he learned that his son, then 27, was missing in a remote Central American rainforest, thousands of miles away.

Dial, a professor of mathematics and biology at Alaska Pacific University, is known for his skills in mountaineering, rafting and backcountry endurance racing. He shared those passions with his son, Cody Roman, who went by the name Roman. Over the years, father and son embarked on exotic adventures together, once packrafting in Australia, another time venturing into Arctic Alaska.

Writer's block can be temporary — or it can be massive and long lasting. After her third short story collection, Honey, came out in 1993, Elizabeth Tallent fell victim to a rockfall, avalanche, total-impasse-of-the-imagination writer's block and didn't publish another book for 22 years.

That's not to say Tallent didn't try. Here's one of the many passages in her profound new memoir, Scratched, in which she reflects on the onset of her writer's block and her attempts to break through:

Copyright 2020 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

Four and a half million Americans are on probation or parole — more than twice the nation's jail population. Parolees and probationers are required to check in regularly with officials, who are charged with helping them rebuild their lives.

But being a parole officer is tough work. "The pay is poor. The benefits are expensive. The hours are long," says former New Orleans parole officer Jason Hardy.

Hardy initially entered the field because, he says, it "seemed to be something that you could get involved with and really make a big difference in a short period of time."

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 2020 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm David Bianculli in for Terry Gross.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

Gish Jen has always had something of a "Frank Capra-esque" view of America. Like Capra, who directed immortal Hollywood films like Mr. Smith Goes to Washington and It's a Wonderful Life, Jen's big theme in her work is the promise of America — imperfect, erratic, but still worth cherishing. Her characters — most of them immigrants or first-generation Americans — are a variant of the "little guys" Capra also loved. They always find themselves up against a rigged system favoring the rich, powerful and white so-called "typical Americans" of her first novel's title.

Copyright 2020 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm Terry Gross.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "THE OUTSIDER")

BEN MENDELSOHN: (As Ralph Anderson) Look - I've been a law enforcement professional for over 20 years. So is it even imaginable that to you that I'm fine?

STEVE WITTING: (As Herbert Zucker) You feel fine?

MENDELSOHN: (As Ralph) [Expletive] No, I don't feel fine.

Copyright 2020 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Copyright 2020 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Copyright 2020 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:

Claire Danes Reflects 'With Gratitude' On Her Life-Changing 'Homeland' Tenure: As her Showtime series draws to an end, Danes talks about playing CIA agent Carrie Mathison and what it was like navigating adolescence while starring in My So-Called Life.

Pages