Fresh Air

Wednesday, 12pm; Monday-Friday, 9pm on IPR News
  • Hosted by Terry Gross

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

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm Dave Davies, in today for Terry Gross. When police used smoke, flash grenades and chemical spray to clear protesters from Lafayette Square near the White House Monday night for a photo op of President Trump holding a Bible in front of a historic church, the action drew heated criticism. But not much of it came from congressional Republicans, who were mostly silent or supportive.

The killing of George Floyd has inspired protests across the U.S. and around the world, with crowds evoking the names of other black men and women who have died in police custody — including

Climate change has put organisms on the move. In her new book, The Next Great Migration, Science writer Sonia Shah writes about migration — and the ways in which outmoded notions of "belonging" have been used throughout history to curb what she sees as a biological imperative.

There is a tendency to view plants, animals and people who cross into a new territory as a threat to the current habitat. But Shah says there's another way to think about these "invaders."

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TERRY GROSS, HOST:

One of the characters that comes to the fore in the second half of Brit Bennett's new novel, The Vanishing Half, is a young actress named Kennedy Sanders. She's an attractive blonde pushing 30, who, after years of trying to make it in the serious theater, lands a role on a soap opera.

Bennett writes that when Kennedy calls her parents to tell them about her big break, she assures them that "There was nothing wrong with melodrama, . ... In fact, some of the greatest classic actresses — Bette Davis, Joan Crawford, Greta Garbo — trafficked in it from time to time."

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 2020 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

Copyright 2020 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

Editor's note: This interview contains graphic details that some readers may find upsetting.

Of the roughly 100,000 Americans included in the official COVID-19 death count, 20,000 died in New York City in a period of two months. Time magazine reporter W.J. Hennigan recently spent several weeks looking into the practical challenge of how a city deals with so many bodies suffused with a deadly pathogen.

Copyright 2020 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Humans typically take about 25,000 breaths per day — often without a second thought. But the COVID-19 pandemic has put a new spotlight on respiratory illnesses and the breaths we so often take for granted.

Journalist James Nestor became interested in the respiratory system years ago after his doctor recommended he take a breathing class to help his recurring pneumonia and bronchitis.

I'm feeling so cooped up these days that I sometimes find myself getting in the car and taking aimless rides to nowhere. Maybe that's what prompted me to finally check out an on-the-road novel that came out in February, right before the pandemic brought life-as-we-know-it to a hard stop.

Growing up, Hannah Gadsby always felt she was different. She struggled to read social cues, she had trouble applying for jobs, and spent a few living in a tent and doing farm labor. But Gadsby, who's from Tasmania, had always been funny. On a whim, in 2006 she entered a stand-up comedy competition — and won.

"I'd never held a microphone before. ... I'd never even been to a comedy show — but all of a sudden, I kind of knew what I was doing," she says. "As soon as I told my first joke ... it really made people engage with me, and I held the audience in my hand."

Copyright 2020 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm Dave Davies in today for Terry Gross. It's Memorial Day. And as we honor the sacrifice of those who served to defend us at times of national peril, we're facing a crisis of our own - a mortal threat from an unseen pathogen. It's a time when our leaders are tested.

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 2020 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

Copyright 2020 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

At a time when many of us are staying home, with no plans to travel farther than the nearest grocery store, watching The Trip to Greece might seem like either a lovely escape or an exquisite form of torture.

Copyright 2020 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

COVID-19 has transformed home life — turning kitchen tables into home offices and classrooms and putting a spotlight on the countless household tasks typically performed by women. Brigid Schulte says the pandemic has laid bare the "grotesque inequality" that exists within many families.

In 2013, Edward Snowden, a contractor with the National Security Agency, rocked the world when he leaked thousands of classified documents about U.S. surveillance programs.

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