Fresh Air on The News And Ideas Network

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  • Hosted by Hosted By: Terry Gross

Fresh Air with Terry Gross, the Peabody Award-winning weekday magazine of contemporary arts and issues, is one of public radio's most popular programs. The show is well known for Terry's interesting and intimate conversations with a wide variety of guests.

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DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

Copyright 2017 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

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A year-long getaway to a Greek island; a week by the sea at an arts colony. Fantasies of escape are the common premise of two new comic novels, both smart and sprightly in style, and both informed by a sad wisdom that echoes John Milton's lines in Paradise Lost: that we carry "troubl'd thoughts" and "hell within [us]`" wherever we go.

It's hard to believe, but before the 1950s, guitars were rarely heard in British music. Billy Bragg says the first guitars to hit the British pop scene came as a part of skiffle, a musical movement inspired by African-American roots musicians.

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In August 2016, three months before the presidential election, Republican nominee Donald Trump was behind in the polls. Instead of staying on message, the candidate was engaged in a politically damaging fight with the parents of an Army captain killed in Iraq.

It's that time of year when you hear talk of "summer reading," a term that refers to books that are fun and undemanding — you know, the perfect accompaniment to lying on the beach. Such books heighten the airy sense of irresponsibility that comes with escaping the gravity of our lives back home.

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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:

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This is FRESH AIR. Fifty years ago this month, singer-songwriter Bobbie Gentry released this song "Ode To Billie Joe," her enigmatic slice of life in rural Mississippi.

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American Popular Song Series: Jerome Kern

Jul 13, 2017

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It sounds like something dreamed up by a team of romantic comedy writers: A Pakistani-American comic falls in love with an American graduate student, but because of cultural pressures from his family, he is forced to keep the relationship a secret. It is only when she becomes mysteriously ill and is put into a medically induced coma that he decides to tell his family about the woman he loves.

That is the plot of the new film The Big Sick, but it is also the story of how the film's co-writers, Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon, met and fell in love in real life.

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I didn't drop my laptop, or download malware from a sketchy pop-up window or spill Diet Coke on my keyboard. It just stopped working. One minute, my computer was fine; the next it was like, New hard drive, who dis?

I tried everything I could; I rebooted in different modes, used external disk repair programs — nothing worked. So I gave in, decided to wipe the drive clean and reinstall all my data.

Ever since Peter Minuit bought Manhattan Island from the Native Americans, New York City's character has been defined by money and con artistry. So it is that classic New York stories are always populated by a grifter or two.

In 2013, acclaimed ballerina Wendy Whelan underwent reconstructive surgery that left her hobbled, both physically and emotionally. For Whelan, it wasn't just her career with the New York City Ballet that was at stake; it was also her artistic voice.

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:

'How To Be A Muslim' Author On Being A Spokesperson For His Faith: "Professional Muslim" Haroon Moghul says, "Every time something bad happens you're called upon to apologize. ... Your entire identity is pegged to events in other parts of the world."

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Growing up in New England as a first-generation Pakistani-American, Haroon Moghul was taught that practicing his Islamic faith would make life his better. What he didn't anticipate was how challenging it could be to be Muslim in America.

In 2001, Moghul was the student leader of New York University's Islamic Center when the Sept. 11 attacks occurred. Shortly thereafter, he was called upon to be a spokesperson for the Muslim community in New York — a role he describes as both a "civic responsibility" and a "tremendous burden."

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This is FRESH AIR.

(SOUNDBITE OF JENS LEKMAN SONG, "WEDDING IN FINISTERE")

When it comes to writing TV, producer and actress Sharon Horgan admits that she draws heavily from her own life. "I am my own provider of material," she says. "I'm ... just trying to put the most honest version of what I think onscreen."

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This is FRESH AIR. I'm Terry Gross. I hope you're enjoying this July Fourth. This summer marks the 50th anniversary of the Beatles' groundbreaking album "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band."

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