Fresh Air

Weekdays at 11:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m.
  • Hosted by Terry Gross

Opening the window on contemporary arts and issues with guests from worlds as diverse as literature and economics. 

Fresh Air Remembers Novelist Philip Roth

10 hours ago

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DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

The legend goes like this: On Valentine's Day 1900, at a remote prep school for young women outside Melbourne, Australia, several students and their teacher slipped away from a holiday picnic, ventured to a steep and storied landmark named Hanging Rock — and vanished.

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TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Novelist Philip Roth "discovered" his own books as he wrote them. "I don't know anything in the beginning, which makes it great fun to write ..." he told Fresh Air in 2006. "You begin every book as an amateur. ... Gradually, by writing sentence after sentence, the book, as it were, reveals itself to you. ... Each and every sentence is a revelation."

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TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Zsa Zsa Gabor, who was married nine times, once joked that diamonds aren't a girl's best friend — divorce lawyers are. The price and permutations of breaking up are the theme of The Split, a sleek new British series showing on Sundance TV. Created by Abi Morgan, who wrote The Iron Lady and The Hour, this six-part show centers around members of the Defoe family, high-end lawyers specializing in marital issues whose own private lives are — don't be shocked now! — as furtive and messy as the cases they're handling.

Copyright 2018 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Copyright 2018 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Copyright 2018 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Copyright 2018 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

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:

Copyright 2018 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

Copyright 2018 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

Copyright 2018 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

First Reformed is a stunner, a spiritually probing work of art with the soul of a thriller, realized with a level of formal control and fierce moral anger that we seldom see in American movies.

2012 was a terrible year for comic Tig Notaro. She had pneumonia, a life threatening intestinal infection, breast cancer and a double mastectomy. She also split with her girlfriend — and her mother died unexpectedly.

But since then, things have taken a turn both professionally and personally. After her stand-up set about having cancer went viral, she released the comedy special Boyish Girl Interrupted, and co-wrote and starred in the semi-autobiographical Amazon series One Mississippi. In 2015, she married actress Stephanie Allynne, and they now have twin boys.

Author Michael Pollan had always been curious about psychoactive plants, but his interest skyrocketed when he heard about a research study in which people with terminal cancer were given a psychedelic called psilocybin — the active ingredient in "magic mushrooms" — to help them deal with their distress.

Copyright 2018 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Jessica Jones is not your typical superhero: She's a low-rent private eye with superhuman strength and PTSD from two big traumas in her past. Krysten Ritter stars as Jessica in the Netflix series based on the Marvel Comics character — and says she loves the complex role.

"I really get to sink my teeth into it," she says. "The work that I get to do and the backstory and the character building and breaking down the scripts — I'm just so invested."

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:

Copyright 2018 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

Copyright 2018 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

Annette Bening has made her career in film and television, but she hasn't always been comfortable in front of the camera.

"For so many years I was really intimidated ... " she says. "I felt very comfortable on the stage ... I didn't really do movies 'till I was almost 30."

Now 59, Bening has "fallen in love" with filming. "You can get so many things across with the camera that one just can't do onstage," she says.

Benedict Cumberbatch, the deep-voiced, strikingly handsome actor whose roles have ranged from Sherlock Holmes to Doctor Strange, once said there were only two roles on his long-standing acting "bucket list."

One was Hamlet, a role he played in 2015. The other? Patrick Melrose, a role he tackles — and conquers — in a new Showtime miniseries beginning Saturday. Parts of it are wickedly funny; other parts are searingly dramatic. But all of it is riveting, and excellent.

Copyright 2018 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Copyright 2018 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

"I want to know who you are and how you came to be a slave." That was one of the first questions that Zora Neale Hurston asked 86-year-old Cudjo Lewis when she traveled from New York to Mobile, Ala., to interview him in the summer of 1927.

Filmmaker siblings Jay and Mark Duplass grew up making movies using their father's VHS camera, but it wasn't until they were in their mid-to-late 20s that their artistic vision really fell into place.

Jay remembers one day in particular, when he was "pushing 30" and feeling frustrated with his desire to do the "impossible artist thing." That's the day his brother Mark announced that he was going to the store to buy tapes for their dad's video camera. Jay had to come up with an idea for a movie before he returned.

Copyright 2018 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Many of chef Lidia Bastianich's earliest memories are of her grandparents' village on the Istrian peninsula, which was part of Italy when she was a small child. The family ate what Bastianich now calls "peasant food," farm-to-table meals consisting of animals they raised and fruits and vegetables they grew.

Later, after Bastianich emigrated to America, she drew on those childhood meals in opening her first restaurant with her husband, Felice. "We brought the simple dishes to a level of service and presentation that was above what it would be in the home," she says.

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