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Fresh Air

Weekdays, 6pm - 7pm
  • Hosted by Terry Gross

Local News Update - 6:04pm

Fresh Air with Terry Gross, the Peabody Award-winning weekday magazine of contemporary arts and issues, is one of public radio's most popular programs. Each week, nearly 4.5 million people listen to the show's intimate conversations broadcast on more than 450 National Public Radio (NPR) stations across the country, as well as in Europe on the World Radio Network.

Though Fresh Air has been categorized as a "talk show," it hardly fits the mold. Its 1994 Peabody Award citation credits Fresh Air with "probing questions, revelatory interviews and unusual insights." And a variety of top publications count Gross among the country's leading interviewers. The show gives interviews as much time as needed, and complements them with comments from well-known critics and commentators.

Fresh Air is produced at WHYY-FM in Philadelphia and broadcast nationally by NPR.

What first grabs a reader about Mary Mann Hamilton's memoir, Trials of the Earth, is its backstory. Hamilton was born in Arkansas around 1866; her family ran a boarding house and at 18 she married one of the guests, an older Englishman named Frank Hamilton who claimed to have an aristocratic past.

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:

'It's A Playground': Meryl Streep On Acting With Abandon: In her new film, Streep plays Florence Foster Jenkins, a socialite who didn't let her less-than-great voice stop her from becoming an opera singer. Streep says she can relate to that kind of passion.

Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm Dave Davies in for Terry Gross.

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "JULIUS CAESAR")

New York Times reporter Rukmini Callimachi is known for her in-depth reporting on terrorism and the Islamic State. Her recent jailhouse interview with Harry Sarfo, a German citizen who joined ISIS and trained in Syria before disavowing the group, revealed the organization's particular interest in recruits from Europe.

Meryl Streep works hard to sing badly in her new film, Florence Foster Jenkins. In it, she plays the title character, based on an actual heiress and socialite born in 1868, who devoted her life to music — despite the fact that she had a squeaky, screechy singing voice.

Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

When author Colson Whitehead first heard about the Underground Railroad as a child he imagined a subway beneath the earth that escaped slaves could ride to freedom. He tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross that when he found out that it was not a literal train, he felt "a bit upset."

Copyright 2016 American Public Media. To see more, visit American Public Media.

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 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

In February of 1974, Patty Hearst, the 19-year-old granddaughter of the wealthy newspaper publisher William Randolph Hearst, was kidnapped by the Symbionese Liberation Army, a small, armed revolutionary group with an incoherent ideology and unclear goals.

Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

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Comedian Ali Wong is so committed to her work that she estimates that she performed on stage almost every day for 11 years before her daughter was born. In fact, she was 7 1/2 months pregnant when she filmed her first comedy special, Baby Cobra, for Netflix.

Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Writer Jay McInerney became famous in the 1980s for Bright Lights, Big City, a semi-autobiographical novel about a young man who parties in the cocaine-dusted clubs of Manhattan, but the drama in his latest book is more domestic in nature.

Also set in New York City, Bright, Precious Days is the third book in a trilogy about married couple Russell and Corrine Calloway. McInerney tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross that he began the Brightness Falls series with an idea of the "perfect couple."

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 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "I COULD HAVE DANCED ALL NIGHT")

MARNI NIXON: (Singing) I could have danced all night. I could have danced all night and still have begged for more.

Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

"I am the law-and-order candidate."

With that proclamation in his acceptance speech, Donald Trump made it official that he'd be recycling the themes and language of Richard Nixon's 1968 campaign. A lot of observers were quick to point out that 2016 is no 1968 and that Donald Trump is no Richard Nixon. As it happens, "law and order" isn't what it once was, either.

Growing up in South Carolina, soul singer Sharon Jones knew from the first time she sang in her church's Christmas play that she would be a musician.

"I was, like, maybe 8, 9 years old ... and I got to sing 'Silent Night,'" she tells Fresh Air host Terry Gross. Jones remembers audience members taking note of her performance. "Right then and there," she says, "I knew that I was going to be a singer. God had blessed me with a gift."

Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Novelists have always put their heroines through awful ordeals. But over time, these tribulations change. Where the 19th Century was filled with fictional women trapped in punishing marriages — think of Middlemarch or The Portrait of a Lady — today's heroines face trials that are bigger, more political, and more physically demanding. They fight in hunger games.

Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

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