Fresh Air

Weekdays from 11:00 a.m. to noon and from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
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Shots - Health News
1:32 pm
Mon January 12, 2015

Why OCD Is 'Miserable': A Science Reporter's Obsession With Contracting HIV

David Adam is a writer and editor at the journal Nature and was a special correspondent at the Guardian, writing about science, medicine and the environment.
Courtesy of Farrar, Straus and Giroux, LLC

Originally published on Wed January 14, 2015 9:58 am

If you have an obsessive but irrational fear, it would probably be pretty difficult for anyone to talk you out of it. Because irrational fears, by definition, aren't rational, which is one of the reasons having obsessive-compulsive disorder is such a nightmare.

For science reporter David Adam, he's obsessed with HIV.

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Fresh Air Weekend
10:49 am
Sat January 10, 2015

Fresh Air Weekend: 'Selma' Director Ava DuVernay And Writer George Pelecanos

Ava DuVernay is up for a Golden Globe for best film director. This makes her the first African-American woman to be nominated in that category.
Atsushi Nishijima Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

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 Sounds, Space And Spirit Of 'Selma': A Director's Take: Ava DuVernay's new film dramatizes a turning point in civil rights history. She says she wanted to "elevate [Selma] from a page in your history book and really just get it ... into your DNA."

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Author Interviews
1:38 pm
Fri January 9, 2015

Son Of A Secret Smuggler Digs Up The Truth About His Dad

Tony Dokoupil's father was once busted for distributing enough marijuana "to roll a joint for every college-age person in America." In The Last Pirate, Dokoupil reflects on his dad's time as a dealer.

Originally aired March 31, 2014.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Movie Reviews
1:38 pm
Fri January 9, 2015

The 'Selma' Criticism For How It Portrays Lyndon B. Johnson: Is It Fair?

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

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Movie Interviews
1:05 pm
Thu January 8, 2015

The Sounds, Space And Spirit Of 'Selma': A Director's Take

Selma portrays a period of history when Martin Luther King Jr. led marches to demand rights for black people who were systematically prevented from registering to vote in the South. Coleman Domingo (from left) plays Ralph Abernathy, David Oyelowo plays Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Andre Holland plays Andrew Young and Stephan James plays John Lewis.
Atsushi Nishijima Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

Originally published on Fri January 9, 2015 4:21 pm

For the new movie Selma, director Ava DuVernay, who until now mostly directed independent films, faced a new kind of challenge.

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Latin America
12:34 pm
Wed January 7, 2015

Did Editorials Influence Obama's Decision To Normalize Relations With Cuba?

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Television
12:26 pm
Wed January 7, 2015

Matt LeBlanc Has Quietly Made 'Episodes' A Must-See Comedy

In Episodes, Matt LeBlanc plays an exaggerated version of himself, a self-centered womanizer who uses celebrity and money to coast through life, much like Larry David does in Curb Your Enthusiasm.
Des Willie Courtesy of Showtime

Originally published on Wed January 7, 2015 2:14 pm

After the holidays, it didn't take any time at all for TV to get back into the swing of things, at least on Sunday nights. Last Sunday, both The Good Wife on CBS and Downton Abbey on PBS returned with strong new episodes to start the New Year — and ABC premiered an odd little musical comedy series, called Galavant. All those shows are back with fresh episodes this Sunday, and this weekend, they're joined by a handful of returning cable series as well.

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Author Interviews
12:36 pm
Tue January 6, 2015

D.C. Author George Pelecanos Writes What He Knows In 'The Martini Shot'

George Pelecanos is a crime novelist who was a writer and producer for the HBO series The Wire and Treme.
Rosa Pelecanos Courtesy of Little, Brown and Co.

Originally published on Tue January 6, 2015 2:46 pm

When writer George Pelecanos was growing up in Washington, D.C., he was chased by the police several times.

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Music
12:36 pm
Tue January 6, 2015

Horace Tapscott's Giant Re-Awakened In A Reissue

Horace Tapscott led a big band in 1969, but his debut was for a quintet drawn from its ranks. Fresh Air jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews a reissue of The Giant is Awakened.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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TERRY GROSS, HOST:

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Music
1:10 pm
Mon January 5, 2015

At The Peak Of Her Powers: Barbara Lynn's 'Complete Atlantic Recordings'

Barbara Lynn wrote her own material, played stinging left-handed guitar, and recorded scores of wonderful records for a number of labels. With The Complete Atlantic Recordings released by Real Gone Music, Fresh Air rock historian Ed Ward has a look in to a vital part of her career.

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Shots - Health News
1:10 pm
Mon January 5, 2015

'America's Bitter Pill' Makes Case For Why Health Care Law 'Won't Work'

Steven Brill is a journalist who also founded Court TV, American Lawyer magazine, 10 regional legal newspapers and Brill's Content Magazine. He teaches journalism at Yale.
Courtesy of Random House

Originally published on Tue January 6, 2015 10:46 am

While reporting on the rollout of the Affordable Care Act, journalist Steven Brill was diagnosed with a life-threatening condition that required heart surgery.

"There I was: a reporter who had made hospital presidents and hospital executives and health care executives and insurance executives sweat because I asked them all kinds of questions about their salaries and about their profit margins," Brill tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "And now I was lying on a gurney in a hospital in real fear of my life."

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Fresh Air Weekend
11:20 am
Sat January 3, 2015

Fresh Air Weekend: 'Serial' Host Sarah Koenig; Scott Saul On Richard Pryor

Sarah Koenig is an executive producer and the host of the podcast Serial.
Meredith Heuer Courtesy of Serial

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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Author Interviews
2:07 pm
Fri January 2, 2015

For Working Moms, Key To Balance May Lie In Elusive Leisure Time

Originally published on Fri January 2, 2015 3:08 pm

If waiting for help when your car breaks down doesn't strike you as a leisurely activity, it may be time to reconsider. A new book looks at time management challenges of being a working parent.

Originally broadcast March 11, 2014.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Movie Interviews
2:07 pm
Fri January 2, 2015

'Life Itself': An Unflinching Documentary Of Roger Ebert's Life And Death

Originally published on Fri January 2, 2015 3:08 pm

In late 2012, filmmaker Steve James and Roger Ebert began talking about filming a documentary based on Ebert's memoir. Ebert's wife, Chaz, agreed. They didn't know that he would die within months.

Originally broadcast July 3, 2014.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Author Interviews
12:31 pm
Thu January 1, 2015

What's It Like To Be Neil Patrick Harris? He Gives You Options

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Book Reviews
12:28 pm
Wed December 31, 2014

In 'Death By Pastrami,' Charming Stories Of New York's Garment District

Hulton Archive Getty Images

Originally published on Wed December 31, 2014 1:58 pm

No, it's not a posthumously published mystery novel by the late, great composer and conductor. Rather, Death by Pastrami by Leonard S. Bernstein is a collection of short stories mostly about life in the garment district of New York City. This Leonard Bernstein knows whereof he writes: He owned and managed a garment factory; now, in his 80s, he's published his first work of fiction, making him a veritable Grandma Moses of the garment district.

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Television
12:28 pm
Wed December 31, 2014

John Oliver Is No One's Friend On His New HBO Show

The comedian who was a correspondent on The Daily Show for 7 1/2 years now pokes fun on Last Week Tonight. Oliver talks about tasing his leg, temping for a thief and remaining an outsider.

Originally broadcast June 19.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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TERRY GROSS, HOST:

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Pop Culture
12:28 pm
Wed December 31, 2014

For Comic Hari Kondabolu, Explaining The Joke IS The Joke

Many comedians think that explaining jokes ruins jokes, but Hari Kondabolu doesn't mind. Especially when it comes to jokes about race and ethnicity, he's willing to explain until everyone gets it.

Originally broadcast April 21.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Television
12:38 pm
Tue December 30, 2014

Louis C.K. On His 'Louie' Hiatus: 'I Wanted The Show To Feel New Again'

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Author Interviews
12:38 pm
Tue December 30, 2014

A Cartoonist's Funny, Heartbreaking Take On Caring For Aging Parents

In Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant?, Roz Chast combines text, cartoons, sketches and photos to describe her interactions with her parents during the last years of their lives.

Originally broadcast May 8.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Author Interviews
12:56 pm
Mon December 29, 2014

New Yorker Cartoon Editor Explores What Makes Us Get It

Originally published on Mon December 29, 2014 1:44 pm

Humor is both a creative and a cognitive process, says Bob Mankoff, who has contributed cartoons to The New Yorker since 1977. His memoir is called How About Never — Is Never Good For You?

Originally broadcast March 24.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Music Interviews
12:56 pm
Mon December 29, 2014

At 90, 'Fiddler' Lyricist Tells His Story

Originally published on Mon December 29, 2014 1:44 pm

"Any successful lyricist has to be part playwright and has to be able to put himself into the minds and the hearts and the souls of the characters," Sheldon Harnick tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross.

Originally broadcast April 30.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Fresh Air Weekend
12:13 pm
Sat December 27, 2014

Fresh Air Weekend: The Best Of 2014 For Films, Books, Music And TV

Ellar Coltrane, who plays Mason in Boyhood, was 6 years old when director Richard Linklater picked him for the role. Made over the course of 12 years, the film is David Edelstein's favorite of the year.
Courtesy of Matt Lankes

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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Music Interviews
1:29 pm
Fri December 26, 2014

Sam Baker: Finding Grace In The Wake Of Destruction

Originally published on Mon December 29, 2014 1:39 pm

In 1986, a bomb planted by the Peruvian terrorist group Shining Path exploded in the luggage rack above Sam Baker. Somehow, during his long recovery, songs focused on empathy started coming to him.

Originally broadcast May 6.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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TERRY GROSS, HOST:

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Music Interviews
12:13 pm
Thu December 25, 2014

Naive, Yet Revolutionary: Ray Davies On 50 Years Of The Kinks

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm Terry Gross. Merry Christmas. Today, we begin a week-long series of some of our favorite interviews of the year.

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