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Fresh Air


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.

'NeuroTribes' Examines The History — And Myths — Of The Autism Spectrum

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Steve Silberman talks about how Nazi extermination plans and a discredited scientific paper about childhood vaccines shaped our current understanding of autism.

Franzen's Latest Novel: An Ambitious But Tarnished 'Purity'

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Jonathan Franzen weaves together a cavalcade of stories and characters in his latest novel. Critic Maureen Corrigan says that despite its breadth, Purity fails to "emotionally move the reader."

Jonathan Franzen On Writing: It's An 'Escape From Everything'

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The author of The Corrections and the new novel Purity likens writing to losing himself in a dream. "When it's really going well ... you're in a fantasy land and feeling no pain," he says.

Oliver Sacks: A Neurologist At The 'Intersection Of Fact And Fable'

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The neurologist, who died Sunday, saw "infinitely moving, dramatic, romantic situations" during his decades studying the human brain. Fresh Air remembers Sacks with two interviews from 1985 and 2012.

Fresh Air Weekend: Alison Bechdel's 'Fun Home'; 'Blackout' Drunkenness

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Lesbian cartoonist Alison Bechdel talks about how her dad's closeted homosexuality affected her. Sarah Hepola examines how alcohol fit in with — and distorted — her idea of being an empowered woman.

Jazz Vocalist Issues A Convincing Calling Card With 'Nothing But Soul'

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In her debut album, Tiffany Austin puts her own improvisational, jazzy spin on songs by the late composer Hoagy Carmichael. Critic Kevin Whitehead calls Austin "a singer to keep an ear on."

From 'Batman' To 'Birdman,' Michael Keaton Knows Suits And Superheroes

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Keaton says his 1989 bat suit was claustrophobic, but he somehow made it work. In Birdman, Keaton plays a washed-up, insecure actor looking for a second shot at fame. Originally broadcast Feb 9, 2015.

Larry David's First Time On Broadway: 'It's Not So Easy!'

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The comedian wrote and stars in Fish in the Dark, a play about rivalries and dysfunction when a family patriarch dies. Originally broadcast March 5, 2015.

Chris Offutt Reveals A Family Secret In 'My Father, The Pornographer'

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Offutt's late father went from running a small insurance agency to writing more than 400 books, mostly pornography. Originally broadcast March 2, 2015.

Former Marine Adam Driver On What Acting And The Military Have In Common

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"You have a group of people trying to accomplish a mission that's greater than themselves," the actor says. Driver stars in the film comedy While We're Young. Originally broadcast April 9, 2015.

Vigilante Computer Geeks Reign In The Addictive 'Mr. Robot'

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The USA Network show centers on a brilliant computer wizard who gets involved with a mysterious cell of fellow hackers. Critic John Powers calls Mr. Robot an "addictive new psychological thriller."

'Public Morals' — Or Lack Thereof — On Display In TNT's New Cop Show

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Set in New York City in the 1960s, Ed Burns' new 10-hour series features corrupt cops and gritty gangsters. Critic David Bianculli says Public Morals has the look and feel of a classic police drama.

In Richard Price's Latest Novel, Haunted Cops And Cases They Couldn't Close

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Price says that in every precinct there's one cop who just can't let go of a case. "They all reminded me of Ahab ... looking for their whales," he says. Originally broadcast Feb. 17, 2015.

'I Regret Everything': Toni Morrison Looks Back On Her Personal Life

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"It's not profound regret," Morrison tells Fresh Air. "It's just a wiping up of tiny little messes that you didn't recognize as mess when they were going on." Originally broadcast April 20, 2015.

'A Manual For Cleaning Women' Showcases A Gritty, One-Of-A-Kind Voice

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A posthumously published collection of stories steers recognition to Lucia Berlin, whose fictional narrators are the sort who have seen it all and aren't afraid to tell you about their crappy day.