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Terry Gross

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.

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2:02pm

Tue July 29, 2014
Author Interviews

In 'Blue Eyed Boy,' Author Reveals Long Recovery From Facial Burns

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

Transcript

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

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2:02pm

Tue July 29, 2014
Book Reviews

'Ride Around Shining' Reimagines Gatsby's Nouveau-Riche Excess

Originally published on Tue July 29, 2014 3:54 pm

Most sports novels are about the aspiration to excel physically: to run faster, stretch out one's arms farther. The really cool thing about Ride Around Shining, a debut novel by Chris Leslie-Hynan, is that it doesn't stick to that familiar rule book. Even though it's set in the world of pro basketball, our narrator here is not the guy who aspires to be a great player; rather, he's the guy who aspires to be a great suck-up to the great player.

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3:44pm

Mon July 28, 2014
Movie Interviews

From 'Star Trek' To LGBT Spokesman, What It Takes 'To Be Takei'

George Takei's personal story is illuminated in the new, funny documentary To Be Takei.
Victoria Will AP

Many fans know George Takei from his role as Mr. Sulu on the 1960s show Star Trek. But in the past decade, he has drawn followers who admire him because of who he is — not just who he has played. Now, the new documentary To Be Takei may interest more people in Takei's life.

Takei's personal story offers insights into a couple of key chapters of American political and cultural history.

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3:30pm

Mon July 28, 2014
Music Reviews

Jenny Lewis' 'The Voyager' Is An Album To Spend Time With

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

Transcript

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

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12:08pm

Sat July 26, 2014
Fresh Air Weekend

Fresh Air Weekend: 'Trans Bodies, Trans Selves,' 'Hard Day's Night,' Arthur Allen

Originally published on Mon July 28, 2014 10:18 am

Criterion Collection is selling the movie on DVD and Blu-ray.
Courtesy of Criterion Collection

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:

'Trans Bodies, Trans Selves': A Modern Manual By And For Trans People: Modeled after the groundbreaking feminist health manual Our Bodies, Ourselves, the book details the social, political and medical issues faced by transgender people.

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1:13pm

Fri July 25, 2014
Movie Reviews

Philip Seymour Hoffman Leaves Indelible Bond In 'Most Wanted Man'

Originally published on Mon July 28, 2014 10:18 am

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

1:13pm

Fri July 25, 2014
Interviews

Tim Gunn: On And Off The Runway, 'Life Is A Big Collaboration'

Originally published on Mon July 28, 2014 10:18 am

"Make it work," the fashion guru tells designers on Project Runway. But life hasn't always "worked" for Gunn. He talks with Terry Gross about being bullied, being gay in the '60s and '70s, and how his mother thinks he should "dress more like Mitt Romney."

Originally broadcast on Feb. 5, 2014.

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2:27pm

Thu July 24, 2014
Iraq

Human Rights Watch Researcher Reports ISIS Abuses In Iraq

Originally published on Mon July 28, 2014 10:17 am

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

2:27pm

Thu July 24, 2014
Book Reviews

'Panic In A Suitcase' Puts A Fresh Spin On A Coming-To-America Story

Originally published on Mon July 28, 2014 10:17 am

There's a wonderful 1982 memoir called An Orphan in History by the late Village Voice writer Paul Cowan. It's about Cowan's search for his European Jewish roots, and in it he says something about the sacrifices of older generations of immigrants that's always stayed with me. Cowan says: "Millions of immigrant families . . . left the economically and culturally confining Old World towns where they were raised, and paid for the freedom and prosperity this country offered with their pasts."

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3:15pm

Wed July 23, 2014
Movie Reviews

'A Hard Day's Night': A Pop Artifact That Still Crackles With Energy

Originally published on Wed July 23, 2014 5:19 pm

The Beatles perform one of their songs while filming A Hard Day's Night in 1964.
Evening Standard Getty Images

Back in 1964, movie audiences were treated to three hit musicals. Two of them — Mary Poppins and My Fair Lady — won scads of Oscars. But it was the third that announced the future, and it did so from its opening chord.

What followed from that chord was what we call The Sixties.

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3:15pm

Wed July 23, 2014
Animals

Cat PDA Vs. Human PDA, And Other Animal Behavior Explained

Originally published on Wed July 23, 2014 5:40 pm

Veterinarian Vint Virga says that animals in zoos, like this lion, need to have a bit of control over their environment.
iStockphoto

From feisty kittens to pacing cheetahs, Vint Virga knows animal behavior.

A veterinarian who specializes in behavioral medicine, Virga has treated many household pets in his clinic. But for the past five years he has been working mostly with leopards, wolves, bears, zebras and other animals living in zoos and wildlife parks. He deals with such issues as appetites, anxiety and obsessive behavior.

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3:34pm

Tue July 22, 2014
Remembrances

Fresh Air Remembers Actress And Singer Elaine Stritch

Originally published on Wed July 23, 2014 12:05 pm

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

Transcript

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

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3:34pm

Tue July 22, 2014
Author Interviews

How Scientists Created A Typhus Vaccine In A 'Fantastic Laboratory'

Originally published on Tue July 22, 2014 5:23 pm

When Germany invaded the Soviet Union during World War II, Nazi commanders had another worry besides the Red Army. Epidemics of typhus fever, which is transmitted by body lice, killed untold numbers of soldiers and civilians during and after World War I.

As World War II raged, typhus reappeared in war-torn areas and in Jewish ghettos, where cramped, harsh conditions were a perfect breeding ground for lice.

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3:31pm

Mon July 21, 2014
Author Interviews

On 'Tomlinson Hill,' Journalist Seeks Truth And Reconciliation

Originally published on Mon July 21, 2014 4:36 pm

As the great-great-grandson of Texas slaveholders, journalist Chris Tomlinson wanted to find out what crimes his ancestors had committed to maintain power and privilege.

So he went to Tomlinson Hill, the plantation his ancestors built in the 1850s, to not only explore the slave-owning part of his family tree, but also to find the descendants of the slaves who kept the Tomlinson name after they were freed.

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12:12pm

Sat July 19, 2014
Fresh Air Weekend

Fresh Air Weekend: Angela Ricketts; Chaz Ebert And Steve James

Originally published on Sat July 19, 2014 12:38 pm

Roger Ebert was surrounded by movie memorabilia in his office. The new documentary Life Itself captures how Ebert lived life and faced death.
Kevin Horan Courtesy of Kartemquin

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:

An Army Wife Charts Her Struggles In 'No Man's War': In her new book, Angela Ricketts writes about raising three kids while her husband deployed eight times over 22 years. Each separation "kind of blackens your soul," she says.

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1:29pm

Fri July 18, 2014
The Fresh Air Interview

'Live In The Present': Charlie Haden Remembered

Originally published on Fri July 18, 2014 3:22 pm

Charlie Haden plays upright bass with Keith Jarrett's band in New York City, 1975.
Jack Vartoogian Getty Images

2:33pm

Thu July 17, 2014
Books

'Trans Bodies, Trans Selves': A Modern Manual By And For Trans People

Originally published on Thu July 17, 2014 3:18 pm

The growing number of people who identify as transgender is raising a lot of interesting and complicated questions about gender identity.

The new book Trans Bodies, Trans Selves is a collection of essays describing the varied experiences of transgender people — and the social, political and medical issues they face. It's written by and for transgender and gender-nonconforming people.

The idea was inspired by the groundbreaking 1970s feminist health manual Our Bodies, Ourselves.

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2:20pm

Wed July 16, 2014
Africa

Nigeria's Boko Haram 'More Extreme Than Al-Qaida,' Journalist Says

This week, Pakistani activist Malala Yousafzai met with some of the girls who escaped Boko Haram's captivity. The Islamic extremist group gained attention in April when it kidnapped more than 200 girls from a school in northeastern Nigeria. Many girls are still missing.
Olamikan Gbemiga AP

The Nigerian group Boko Haram is part of a new generation of Islamist extremists. It was founded in 2002, but received only limited, periodic attention until April when it kidnapped more than 200 girls after raiding a school in northeastern Nigeria and threatening to marry the girls off or sell them as slaves. Some girls escaped, but many are still missing.

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1:55pm

Wed July 16, 2014
Music

Every Composer Needs A Great Storyteller

Originally published on Thu July 17, 2014 11:39 am

The legendary German conductor Otto Klemperer was one of the most profound musicians of the 20th Century. In the 1960s, nearing the end of his career, he overcame many physical handicaps to create an astonishing body of recorded classical music. EMI has just reissued a broad spectrum of his recordings, including a box set of one of the composers he's most associated with: Gustav Mahler. Fresh Air classical music critic Lloyd Schwartz has a review of Mahler: Symphonies 2, 4, 7 & 9 / Das Lied von der Erde.

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3:03pm

Tue July 15, 2014
Music

The Cowboy That Wasn't A Cowboy Sings

Originally published on Tue July 15, 2014 3:52 pm

Cowboy Jack Clement, who died in 2013 at age 82, was a prolific producer, songwriter, arranger, and talent scout. He brought Jerry Lee Lewis to Sun Records, helped nurture the career of one of the few black country stars, Charley Pride, and worked on important albums for artists as various as Waylon Jennings and U2.

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3:03pm

Tue July 15, 2014
Author Interviews

An Army Wife Charts Her Struggles In 'No Man's War'

Originally published on Tue July 15, 2014 3:52 pm

Angela Ricketts, whose husband deployed eight times over 22 years, says she had to get over resentment around parenting their three kids alone while he was gone.
Courtesy of Counterpoint Press

People often expect military wives to be strong and stoic. But in her new memoir, No Man's War: Irreverent Confessions of an Infantry Wife, Angela Ricketts writes about the difficulties she faced during her husband's deployments — including the stresses it put on their marriage and on raising their three children.

She also writes about the toll of always bracing herself for the next goodbye.

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3:34pm

Mon July 14, 2014

3:34pm

Mon July 14, 2014
Book Reviews

'Mockingbird Next Door': A Genteel Peek Into Harper Lee's Quiet Life

Originally published on Mon July 14, 2014 9:53 pm

It's probably the most oft-cited literary fantasy of all time: I'm talking about that passage in Catcher in the Rye where Holden Caulfield says: "What really knocks me out is a book that, when you're all done reading it, you wish the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him up on the phone whenever you felt like it. That doesn't happen much, though."

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3:34pm

Mon July 14, 2014
Author Interviews

How A Factory Man Fought To Save His Furniture Company

Author Beth Macy worked for years as a reporter for the Roanoke Times. "When I became a journalist, I gravitated to those kinds of stories of what I call 'outsiders and underdogs,' " she says.
David Hungate Courtesy of Little, Brown and Co.

In the town of Bassett in southern Virginia, some of the downtown street lights are dark. The lamps, maintained by the once prosperous Bassett Furniture Co., are now funded by voluntary contributions from residents and businesses — when they can afford it.

Bassett is just one of many towns and cities in Virginia and North Carolina where scores of furniture-making plants have closed in the past 20 years, mostly because of competition from China and other foreign countries.

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2:24pm

Sat July 12, 2014
Fresh Air Weekend

Fresh Air Weekend: Richard Linklater, Strand Of Oaks And Brian Krebs

Ellar Coltrane, who plays Mason in the new movie Boyhood, was 6 years old when director Richard Linklater picked him for the role.
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:

Filmed Over 12 Years, 'Boyhood' Follows A Kid's Coming Of Age: Writer-director Richard Linklater says picking the film's star was vital because he had to guess what he'd be like at 18. "I just went with a kid who seemed kind of the most interesting."

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2:28pm

Fri July 11, 2014
Remembrances

'Fresh Air' Remembers Soul Singer And Songwriter Bobby Womack

Womack sang for a gospel group with his brothers called the Valentinos. It's All Over Now was their first international hit. Womack, who died June 27 at the age of 70, talked with Terry Gross in 1999.

2:28pm

Fri July 11, 2014
Movie Reviews

In A Remarkable Feat, 'Boyhood' Makes Time Visible

Transcript

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. Our film critic David Edelstein has a review of the new film "Boyhood." It was written and directed by Richard Linklater, who also made the movies, "Slacker," "Dazed And Confused," "School Of Rock," "The Before Sunrise" Trilogy and "Bernie." "Boyhood" covers a dozen years and was shot over a 12 year period. It stars Patricia Arquette, Ethan Hawke and newcomer Ellar Coltrane as the boy we watch grow up.

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3:03pm

Thu July 10, 2014
Movie Interviews

Filmed Over 12 Years, 'Boyhood' Follows A Kid's Coming Of Age

Originally published on Fri July 11, 2014 5:25 pm

Ellar Coltrane, who plays Mason in the new movie Boyhood, was 6 years old when director Richard Linklater picked him for the role.
Courtesy of Matt Lankes

Usually when characters age in movies, they're covered with makeup and outfitted with prosthetics — or directors use different actors as the characters grow older. But in the new film Boyhood, none of that is necessary.

The film takes place over the course of 12 years, and it was shot over the course of 12 years. So we watch the actors getting older for real, which gives their characters a sense of authenticity.

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3:02pm

Thu July 10, 2014
Books

10 Years Later, Mystery Heroine 'Maisie Dobbs' Gains New Life

Originally published on Thu July 10, 2014 5:02 pm

If you asked mystery fans to name the most important novel of the past decade, most would say The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo — and they'd be right. In fact, Stieg Larsson's complete Millennium series, flanked by hordes of Nordic noirs by the likes of Henning Mankell, Camilla Lackberg and Jo Nesbo, have overrun the ranks of hard-boiled detective fiction, imbuing it with their distinctive strain of brittle dialogue and chill fatalism.

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3:02pm

Thu July 10, 2014
Music

Fred Hersch Knows His Trios

Originally published on Fri July 18, 2014 12:23 pm

Fred Hersch.
Vincent Soyez Courtesy of the artist

Over the last 30 years, jazz pianist Fred Hersch has recorded in solo, duo, quartet, quintet and double-trio settings, with big band and with orchestras. Fresh Air jazz critic Kevin Whitehead says the classic piano, bass and drums trio format suits Hersch best of all in a review of Floating.

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