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Fresh Air from WHYY, the Peabody Award-winning weekday magazine of contemporary arts and issues, is one of public radio's most popular programs. Hosted by Terry Gross, the show features intimate conversations with today's biggest luminaries. Subscribe to Fresh Air Plus! You'll enjoy bonus episodes and sponsor-free listening - all while you support NPR's mission. Learn more at plus.npr.org/freshair
For much of his life, the Canadian actor (Juno, X-men, The Umbrella Academy) experienced gender dysphoria that made him extremely uncomfortable in his own body. "It's like a constant noise," he says. His new memoir is called Pageboy. Maureen Corrigan reviews two suspense novels: My Murder by Katie Williams and Beware the Woman by Megan Abbott.
Constitutional lawyer and Brennan Center for Justice President Michael Waldman says there's a growing divide between the electorate and the Supreme Court: "the country is moving in one direction ... the Court is moving fast in another direction." His book is<em> The Supermajority</em>.
The much-anticipated series finale of HBO's <em>Succession</em> answered one big question — who would succeed media mogul patriarch Logan Roy — but we still have more: Was Kendall going to jump into the river? Why did we keep seeing Logan in the bathroom? Why was the presidential election left unresolved? Creator Jesse Armstrong and executive producer Frank Rich answer all in this wide-ranging interview.
As controversy swirls around revelations of gifts to Justice Clarence Thomas, we'll speak with award-winning filmmaker Michael Kirk. His PBS/FRONTLINE documentary is Clarence and Ginni Thomas: Politics, Power and the Supreme Court. Jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews Arturo O'Farrill's new album, Legacies. Also, we talk with medical anthropologist Theresa MacPhail about allergies. If it seems like your seasonal allergies are getting worse over time, you're probably not wrong. Allergies have risen dramatically in recent years, both in the U.S. around the world. MacPhail's book is Allergic: Our Irritated Bodies in a Changing World.
Writer John Vercher trained in mixed martial arts as a young man. His novel, After the Lights Go Out, centers on a veteran MMA fighter who is experiencing memory loss, severe mood swings and tinnitus. The book is also about the fighter's biracial identity. TV critic David Bianculli reviews the new PBS American Masters documentary, Little Richard: King and Queen of Rock 'n' Roll.
Kwame Alexander's new book, <em>Why Fathers Cry At Night</em>, started as a book of love poems, but ended up being a book of essays and poems about falling in love, the end of his two marriages, raising two children and one of them leaving home and cutting ties. We'll talk about that, and about being a son of a Baptist minister. Alexander is best known for his children's books, including <em>The Undefeated</em> and the Newberry Medal-winning book<em> The Crossover</em>, which has been adapted into a Disney+ series, on which he's a writer and executive producer.
As controversy swirls around Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and his wife Ginni over financial benefits they received for years from a Texas billionaire, we look at the formative influences on the Washington power couple. Filmmaker Michael Kirk's FRONTLINE PBS documentary examines Clarence Thomas's early years, where he endured poverty, hardship and discrimination in the Jim Crow South. After a period as a Black Power activist in college, he began to criticize affirmative action and build ties with conservative Republicans, leading eventually to his seat on the Supreme Court. He teamed up with and married Ginni Lamp, who grew up surrounded by far-Right conservatives. Kirk's documentary is<em> Clarence and Ginni Thomas: Politics, Power and the Supreme Court</em>.
Julia Louis Dreyfus stars in the new film, You Hurt My Feelings. She also has a podcast called Wiser Than Me, where she asks older women to share their experiences and life lessons. She talks about both projects with Dave Davies. Also, we hear from Wanda Sykes. In her new Netflix comedy special, she talks about raising teenagers with her French wife, and what it's like to live in the world after a pandemic, an insurrection, and George Floyd. David Bianculli reviews a new documentary about Mary Tyler Moore.
Moore is the subject of a new HBO (MAX) documentary that explores her rise in Hollywood — from her 1970s hit The Mary Tyler Moore Show, which inspired a generation of single professional women, to her 1960s breakout role on The Dick Van Dyke Show. She spoke with Terry Gross in 1995. Also, we remember novelist, essayist and literary critic Martin Amis, who died last week at 73. Film critic Justin Chang reviews the new live-action remake of The Little Mermaid.
James Beard Award-winning chef Lidia Bastianich fled the Italian peninsula of Istria, as a child, after it was handed over to Communist Yugoslavia following WWII. She spoke with Terry Gross about her family's journey to America, her first TV dinner, and how food became her "connector." Her new PBS show is Lidia Celebrates America. Lloyd Schwartz reviews a CD set of opera singer Renée Fleming.
Louis-Dreyfus stars in the new film You Hurt My Feelings. She spoke with Dave Davies about her first big laugh as a kid, receiving the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor, and her new podcast, Wiser Than Me. Also, John Powers reviews the British crime series Happy Valley, now available in the U.S.
Legendary comic Wanda Sykes spoke with Tonya Mosley about the WGA strike, portraying Moms Mabley in the Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, and raising white kids as a Black mom. Her new Netflix special is I Am an Entertainer. Also, David Bianculli reviews a new HBO documentary about Mary Tyler Moore, and book critic Maureen Corrigan reviews Goodnight, Irene by Luis Alberto Urrea.
Joel Edgerton stars as a horticulturist with a secret past as a white nationalist in Paul Schrader's Master Gardener. He spoke with Terry Gross about the film and how his small role in Star Wars changed his career. TV critic David Bianculli reviews the new Netflix docuseries Working, hosted by President Barack Obama. Humorist and TV writer Samantha Irby spoke with Tonya Mosley about her new book of essays, Quietly Hostile. She says it's like a survival guide, of sorts.
The Queen of Disco's hits of the 1970s and early '80s included "Hot Stuff," "Last Dance," "Heaven Knows," "On the Radio," "Bad Girls," and "She Works Hard for the Money." She had three consecutive No. 1 platinum albums, and 11 gold albums. She's now the subject of a new HBO documentary, titled Love to Love You: Donna Summer. She died in 2012. Originally broadcast in 2003. Also, we remember Chris Strachwitz, the founder of Arhoolie records. He devoted his life to tracking down regional musicians – and recording them in their homes, front porches and beer joints. He died earlier this month.
When Sara Bareilles got the role of the Baker's Wife in Sondheim's Into the Woods, she thought she was signing up for a two-week limited run. But the show became a sensation, and is now a Grammy award-winning Broadway musical with six Tony nominations. She spoke with Ann Marie Baldonado about the show, writing the music for Waitress, and poking fun at the music industry in the series Girls5eva. Also, Kevin Whitehead reviews Arturo O'Farrill's album Legacies.
Matthew Dallek says the John Birch Society, which was active from the late '50s through the early '70s, propelled today's extremist takeover of the American right. His new book is Birchers. John Powers reviews the award-winning French crime drama The Night of the 12th.
Humorist and TV writer Samantha Irby is not afraid to tell you about her bowel movements, her mental health struggles or about the "glamorous hoarding" in her house. She's made a career out of writing about these things, and spinning them into comedy. She spoke with Tonya Mosley about her new book, Quietly Hostile. Also, David Bianculli reviews the new Netflix docuseries Working, hosted by Barack Obama.
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