Fresh Air

Weekdays 3pm and 7pm. Fresh Air Weekend Sat. 7am
  • Hosted by Terry Gross

Fresh Air opens the window on contemporary arts and issues with guests from worlds as diverse as literature and economics. 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. Every weekday she delights intelligent and curious listeners with revelations on contemporary societal concerns.

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm David Bianculli, editor of the website TV Worth Watching, sitting in for Terry Gross.

The best scene in Disney's incredibly photo-realistic remake of The Lion King features a computer-generated beetle rolling a ball of computer-generated dung across a computer-generated African landscape. It might sound mundane, but this particular ball of dung is carrying a tuft of fur from the runaway lion Simba, and its eventual discovery will renew hope that the rightful king of the savanna is alive and well. It's a funny, touching reminder that in the circle of life, every little creature and every lump of waste has an important role to play.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm Terry Gross. Behind the migrant center horrors on the southern border lies an agency plagued by years of dysfunction. And Trump is only its latest problem. My guest, Garrett Graff, writes that in his new article, "The Border Patrol Hits A Breaking Point," published this week in Politico Magazine. The Border Patrol is part of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agency. Graff writes about the long-standing problems within the agency, including a culture of violence and corruption.

Copyright 2019 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. Former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens died yesterday at age 99. We're going to listen back to our interview with Stevens.

Copyright 2019 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

And if that enthusiastic review got you interested in the novel, stick around because we're going to hear from the author. FRESH AIR's Dave Davies just recorded this interview with Colson Whitehead.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. "Jazz From Detroit" is the title of a new book by journalist and critic Mark Stryker, who spent a couple of decades covering jazz and its people in that city. Our jazz critic Kevin Whitehead says Stryker looks at Detroiters who made their mark in the larger world and a few who stayed behind. Here's Kevin's review.

(SOUNDBITE OF JAMES CARTER'S "FREE AND EASY")

KEVIN WHITEHEAD, BYLINE: Saxophonist James Carter at Baker's Keyboard Lounge in Detroit in 2001.

It's pretty rare for a writer to produce a novel that wins the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award and, then, a scant three years later, bring out another novel that's even more extraordinary. But, that's what Colson Whitehead has done in following up his 2016 novel, The Underground Railroad, with The Nickel Boys.

When TV critic Emily Nussbaum was growing up in the '70s, she says television wasn't something to be analyzed, criticized and picked apart.

"Even people who loved to watch TV would put it down," she recalls. "It was considered, at best, a kind of delicious-but-bad-for-you treat, and, at worst, more like chain-smoking, like something you did by yourself that messed up your brain."

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:

Yiddish 'Fiddler On The Roof' Is A 'Dream Come True' For Lead Actor: A new Yiddish language production of the musical is currently running off-Broadway. Steven Skybell, who plays Tevye, and Joel Grey, who directs the show, explain why the play still resonates.

Copyright 2019 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

Copyright 2019 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

Copyright 2019 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. Although President Trump was forced by the courts a year ago to end his administration's policy of separating migrant children from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border, recent reports from the border have described hundreds of children, teens and toddlers being held in squalid conditions at a Border Patrol station in Clint, Texas.

The Farewell opens with five cheeky words: "based on an actual lie." This funny, melancholy ensemble drama was inspired by an experience that the writer-director Lulu Wang and her family went through years ago, when they were told that Wang's grandmother was terminally ill. They decided to keep her in the dark about her diagnosis, hoping to spare her unnecessary fear and anxiety — an extreme decision, perhaps, but one that the movie suggests is hardly unheard of among Chinese families.

Pages