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Hosted by Terry Gross, Fresh Air from WHYY is the Peabody Award-winning weekday magazine of contemporary arts and issues. One of public radio's most popular programs, Fresh Air features intimate conversations with today's biggest luminaries.
Updated: 35 min 31 sec ago

'Fresh Air' Remembers Marvel Comics Writer And Editor Stan Lee

Tue, 11/13/2018 - 4:02pm

The Spider-Man and Hulk creator spoke to Fresh Air in 1991 about coming up with Spider-Man, inventing new sound effects for his comics and why superheroes have colorful costumes.

Categories: Syndicated

Counting The Bugs And Bacteria, You're 'Never Home Alone' (And That's OK)

Mon, 11/12/2018 - 2:11pm

Ecologist Rob Dunn's new book describes the tiny life forms, helpful and risky, that live in different parts of the home, including on floors and in water faucets, basements and heating systems.

(Image credit: Basic Books )

Categories: Syndicated

Stolen Stories: A Literary Con Man Climbs To Success In 'Ladder To The Sky'

Mon, 11/12/2018 - 1:27pm

A charismatic young writer poaches plot points from the lives of established authors in John Boyne's new novel. Critic Maureen Corrigan calls A Ladder to the Sky "erudite and ingeniously constructed."

(Image credit: Cameron Pollack/NPR)

Categories: Syndicated

Fresh Air Weekend: Turning To Religion After Tragedy; Chef José Andrés

Sat, 11/10/2018 - 9:00am

Elaine Pagels reflects on loss and faith in her book, Why Religion? Ken Tucker reviews Interstate Gospel by Pistol Annies. Andrés talks about growing up in Spain and why he thinks vegetable are sexy.

(Image credit: Echo)

Categories: Syndicated

Queen Guitarist Brian May On Writing Anthems And Studying Astrophysics

Fri, 11/09/2018 - 2:23pm

Brian May spoke to Fresh Air in 2010 about writing "We Will Rock You," recording the many vocals in "Bohemian Rhapsody" and getting a Ph.D. The biopic Bohemian Rhapsody details Queen's meteoric rise.

Categories: Syndicated

Life's Cruelty Is A Constant In The Coen Brothers' Mixed Bag Western 'Ballad'

Fri, 11/09/2018 - 12:56pm

Joel and Ethan Coen's new film is a feature-length collection of six stories set in the Old West. Justin Chang says the tall tales featured in The Ballad of Buster Scruggs are an odd, melancholy lot.

(Image credit: Netflix)

Categories: Syndicated

Plagued By War and Famine, Yemen Is 'No Longer A Functioning State,' Journalist Warns

Thu, 11/08/2018 - 2:37pm

In 2015, Saudi Arabia initiated a bombing campaign against Yemen that continues today. Journalist Robert Worth says the results have been devastating — and that the U.S. shares some of the blame.

(Image credit: Andrew Renneisen/Getty Images)

Categories: Syndicated

'Interstate Gospel' Showcases Pistol Annies' Impressive Range Of Style

Wed, 11/07/2018 - 1:19pm

The trio of three country-music stars who make up Pistol Annies — Miranda Lambert, Ashley Monroe and Angaleena Presley — mix humor with righteousness and drama on their new album.

Categories: Syndicated

Novelist Revisits The Assassination And Conspiracies That Fueled Colombia's Civil War

Wed, 11/07/2018 - 1:19pm

Juan Gabriel Vásquez's novel, The Shape Of The Ruins, centers on the 1948 assassination of Jorge Eliécer Gaitán, the years of violence that followed and the conspiracy theories surrounding his death.

Categories: Syndicated

Did Law Enforcement Overlook The Threat Of Far-Right Extremism?

Wed, 11/07/2018 - 1:19pm

Janet Reitman of The New York Times Magazine says counter-terrorism strategists failed to adequately address right-wing domestic extremism — which enabled the movement to become even more dangerous.

Categories: Syndicated

How The Fugitive Slave Act Ignited A 'Struggle For America's Soul'

Tue, 11/06/2018 - 1:24pm

Author Andrew Delbanco says the 1850 law paved the way for the Civil War by endangering the lives of both escaped slaves and free black men and women in the North. His book is The War Before The War.

Categories: Syndicated

Inside This Deceptively Simple Story Lurks A 'Burning' Psychological Thriller

Tue, 11/06/2018 - 1:24pm

Director Lee Chang-dong's film centers on two young men and the woman who brings them together. Critic Justin Chang calls Burning the most absorbing — and enigmatic — new movie he's seen all year.

Categories: Syndicated

'Why Religion?' Asks 'How Hearts Can Heal' After Tragedy

Mon, 11/05/2018 - 2:16pm

Religion scholar Elaine Pagels lost her young son to terminal illness and her husband a year later in an accident. Her new book combines memoir and biblical scholarship to reflect on loss and faith.

Categories: Syndicated

An Intimate Pontormo Show Outshines The Met's Big Delacroix Retrospective

Mon, 11/05/2018 - 2:16pm

In the age of blockbuster art exhibitions, a small show sometimes makes just as big an impression as a large one. That's what happened to critic Lloyd Schwartz on a recent trip to New York.

Categories: Syndicated

Mystery Thriller 'Homecoming' Delivers A Healthy Dose Of Suspicion And Paranoia

Fri, 11/02/2018 - 2:26pm

Amazon Prime Video's new drama series stars Julia Roberts as a therapist who's working with a soldier returning from Afghanistan. Critic David Bianculli binged all 10 engrossing episodes.

Categories: Syndicated

Comic Hasan Minhaj On Roasting Trump And Growing Up A 'Third Culture Kid'

Fri, 11/02/2018 - 2:26pm

"I'm an Indian-American-Muslim kid, but am I more Indian or am I more American?" Minhaj asks. His weekly political comedy series on Neflix is called Patriot Act. Originally broadcast May 18, 2017.

Categories: Syndicated

Orson Welles' Long Anticipated 'Other Side Of The Wind' Is Finally Finished

Thu, 11/01/2018 - 2:16pm

Critic David Edelstein says the story behind the The Other Side Of The Wind — how Welles made it and what happened to it after his death in 1985 — is more fun than the completed film itself.

Categories: Syndicated

'Combative, Tribal, Angry': Newt Gingrich Set The Stage For Trump, Journalist Says

Thu, 11/01/2018 - 2:10pm

Atlantic journalist McKay Coppins says Gingrich "set a model for future Republican leaders" by engaging in extreme partisanship while serving as speaker of the House.

(Image credit: John Moore/Getty Images)

Categories: Syndicated

Kurt Vile Stretches In An Adventurous New Direction On 'Bottle It In'

Wed, 10/31/2018 - 1:16pm

A laid-back, generous spirit pervades many of the songs on Vile's latest album. Critic Ken Tucker says the singer/songwriter "sounds like one of the most well-adjusted pop musicians around."

Categories: Syndicated

Is The Supreme Court The 'Most Dangerous Branch' Of Government?

Wed, 10/31/2018 - 1:16pm

Author David A. Kaplan warns that the court is becoming increasingly polarized — and influential: "Why should nine unelected, unaccountable judges dictate so much policy in the country?"

Categories: Syndicated