Episodes
Diver and photographer Jill Heinerth talks about some of her most dangerous and exhilarating experiences underwater — like getting trapped inside an iceberg in Antarctica. Heinerth also shares how she stays calm when things go wrong: "I take a really deep breath and try and slow my heart, slow my breathing, and then just focus on pragmatic small steps," she says. Her new book is 'Into the Planet.' Also, film critic Justin Chang reviews 'Brittany Runs a Marathon,' starring Jillian Bell. And...
Published 08/24/19
The Oscar-nominated actor and screenwriter, who died Aug. 16, spoke to Terry Gross in 1998 about 'Ulee's Gold,' 'Easy Rider' and his acting philosophy of "doing less — and making more of it." Also, Ken Tucker reviews three songs that he says offer different takes on — and moods for — the summer. And John Powers reviews the Netflix documentary 'American Factory,' about what happens when a Chinese company opens a factory in Ohio.
Published 08/23/19
'Washington Post' investigative journalist Scott Higham says recently released evidence shows the drug industry purposely shipped large quantities of pills to certain communities in pursuit of greater profits. "Small cities and counties in places like Ohio and Pennsylvania have just been devastated," he says. "The death rates just soared in those places where the pills were being dumped." Also, Maureen Corrigan reviews 'Late Migrations' by Margaret Renkl, which she calls "a perfect book to...
Published 08/22/19
After appearing in nearly 800 TV episodes and 100 films, Root received his first Emmy nomination for his role as a handler to a hitman in the HBO series 'Barry.' He also talks about his iconic roles in 'O Brother, Where Art Thou?' and 'Office Space.' Also, jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews the album 'Begin Again' from pianist Fred Hersch, and film critic Justin Chang reviews 'Brittany Runs a Marathon,' starring Jillian Bell.
Published 08/21/19
In his new book, 'Gods of the Upper Air,' Charles King tells the story of Franz Boas, Margaret Mead and the other 20th century anthropologists who challenged outdated notions of race, class and gender. Also, linguist Geoff Nunberg discusses the language he calls "chatspeak."
Published 08/20/19
Diver and photographer Jill Heinerth talks about some of her most dangerous and exhilarating experiences underwater — like getting trapped inside an iceberg in Antarctica. Heinerth also shares how she stays calm when things go wrong: "I take a really deep breath and try and slow my heart, slow my breathing, and then just focus on pragmatic small steps," she says. Her new book is 'Into the Planet.' Also, book critic Maureen Corrigan reviews two mystery novels — Laura Lippman's 'Lady in the...
Published 08/19/19
Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Colson Whitehead's new book, 'The Nickel Boys,' is based on the true story of a notorious Florida reform school where many boys were beaten and sexually abused. Dozens of unmarked graves were discovered on the school grounds, which the state shut down in 2011. Maureen Corrigan reviews the novel, and then the author speaks with contributor Dave Davies. Travis Rieder became dependent on opioids after a motorcycle accident in 2015 that crushed his left foot, and...
Published 08/17/19
Groff stars in the crime-thriller series 'Mindhunter,' now in its second season on Netflix. He also talks about his roles on HBO's 'Looking,' and as King George III in 'Hamilton' on Broadway. (Originally broadcast October 2017) Also, film critic Justin Chang reviews 'Where'd You Go, Bernadette?' starring Cate Blanchett, directed by Richard Linklater.
Published 08/16/19
Hannah Shaw's job title is "professional kitten rescuer." Known on YouTube and Instagram as Kitten Lady, she has rescued hundreds of neonatal kittens, often orphaned and unweaned, who require a level of care that most shelters cannot provide. That's where Shaw steps in. Her new book about fostering kittens is 'Tiny but Mighty.' Also, we remember late jazz saxophonist and clarinetist Bob Wilber. He spoke with Terry Gross in 1988. And TV critic David Bianculli reviews 'Why Women Kill,' a...
Published 08/15/19
Mock made history as the first trans woman of color to write and direct an episode of TV for her work on Ryan Murphy's FX series 'Pose.' The show centers on the trans and queer ball culture in New York City in the '80s and '90s. Mock talks with Terry Gross about drawing from her own life to write for 'Pose,' growing up in Hawaii, and doing sex work as a young person to save money for reassignment surgery.
Published 08/14/19
In his new book, 'Kochland,' journalist Christopher Leonard chronicles how Koch Industries and Charles and David Koch acquired huge businesses, limited their liability and created a political influence network to remake the Republican Party. Leonard says President Trump is a threat to that vision.
Published 08/13/19
Prejean is best known for her 1993 memoir, 'Dead Man Walking,' about her role as a spiritual adviser to a convicted killer on death row. The story was adapted into an Oscar-winning film starring Susan Sarandon and Sean Penn. Prejean has accompanied six prisoners to their executions and has been at the forefront of activism against the death penalty. "I read scripture to them. ... All I knew was: I couldn't let them die alone." Her new memoir, 'River of Fire,' details her spiritual journey up...
Published 08/12/19
Rodney Evans is still making movies, despite having lost much of his vision. His new documentary, 'Vision Portraits,' is about how he and three other blind or visually impaired artists (a photographer, a dancer, and a writer) continue to do their work. Linguist Geoff Nunberg considers the use of the word "they" as a gender-neutral pronoun. 'New Yorker' staff writer Jia Tolentino writes about how social media shapes identity, public discourse and political engagement, particularly for...
Published 08/10/19
The Nobel laureate and Pulitzer Prize-winning author of 'Beloved,' 'The Bluest Eye,' 'Sula,' 'Song of Solomon,' and other novels, essays and children's books died Monday at 88. She was known for her precise, poetic prose. Her books drew from the black oral tradition — African American folktales, and the ghost stories she was told as a child. Morrison spoke with Terry Gross in 1987, 1992, and 2015.
Published 08/09/19
In July of 2016, Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich was murdered in his D.C. neighborhood. Police think he was the victim of a robbery gone wrong. But Russian intelligence operatives planted a fake report claiming that Rich was the person who gave DNC emails to Wikileaks, and was then murdered by assassins working for Hillary Clinton. In the podcast 'Conspiracyland,' journalist Michael Isikoff explores how the murder of Rich was turned into a conspiracy theory — and how Russian...
Published 08/08/19
The new documentary 'This Changes Everything' explores how women in Hollywood are pushing for more representation in front of and behind the camera. Actor Geena Davis and director Maria Giese talk with Terry Gross about the dramatic disparities on screen. Davis also discusses her career in films, including 'Tootsie' and 'Thelma & Louise.' Bruce Talamon has photographed Aretha Franklin, Marvin Gaye, Al Green, Diana Ross, Bob Marley, Patti LaBelle ... the list goes on. A new book shows...
Published 08/07/19
'New Yorker' staff writer Jia Tolentino writes about how social media shapes identity, public discourse and political engagement, particularly for millennials like herself. She talks about growing up in a Houston megachurch, her devastating year in the Peace Corps, and how religion led her to MDMA. Her new book of essays is 'Trick Mirror.' Linguist Geoff Nunberg considers the use of the word "they" as a gender-neutral pronoun, and jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews the new album, 'The...
Published 08/06/19
Filmmaker Rodney Evans is still making movies, despite having lost much of his vision. His new documentary, 'Vision Portraits,' is about how he and three other blind or visually impaired artists (a photographer, a dancer, and a writer) continue to do their work. Also, we remember Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker D.A. Pennebaker, who died Aug. 1. He pioneered a cinéma vérité style of filmmaking with 'Bob Dylan: Don't Look Back' and 'The War Room.' Pennebaker spoke with Terry Gross in 1989.
Published 08/05/19
Wanda Sykes' latest Netflix stand-up special, 'Not Normal,' is nominated for two Emmys. She talks with Terry Gross about doing comedy in the Trump era, getting booed for criticizing the president, and coming out publicly at an LGBTQ rally. Laura Lippman's new novel, 'Lady in the Lake,' set in the 1960s, centers on Maddie Schwartz, who leaves her marriage, gets a job at Baltimore's newspaper, and begins investigating the mysterious death of a young black woman. Lippman talks about her own...
Published 08/03/19
Paul Nicklen has spent decades documenting the Arctic, Antarctic and the effects of climate change. He talks about some of the dangerous situations he's been in while on the job. "I'm not really scared of death, I just want my death to be cool, and I guess being speared by a narwhal would be a pretty cool way to go." (Originally broadcast in June 2017) Also, film critic Justin Chang reviews 'Luce.'
Published 08/02/19
Sykes talks about coming out publicly at an LGBTQ rally, her double mastectomy, and her career before comedy — working for the National Security Agency. Sykes' latest Netflix stand-up special, 'Not Normal,' is nominated for two Emmys.
Published 08/01/19
'Washington Post' tech columnist Geoffrey Fowler talks about how web browsers, phone apps, and smart speakers are tracking users, even when they're asleep. Fowler listened to four years' worth of audio that Amazon had captured and stored from his Alexa smart speaker — and was surprised by what he found. Soraya Nadia McDonald reviews the final season of Netflix's 'Orange is the New Black,' set in a immigration detention center.
Published 07/31/19
Lippman's new novel, 'Lady in the Lake,' set in the 1960s, centers on Maddie Schwartz, who leaves her marriage, gets a job at Baltimore's newspaper, and begins investigating the mysterious death of a young black woman. Lippman talks about her own experience in newsrooms as a reporter, deciding to become a mother in her 50s, and losing her friend Rob Hiaasen in the 'Capital Gazette' shooting last year.
Published 07/30/19
Conservation biologist Anne Sverdrup-Thygeson warns that the world's insect population is on the decline — which may have serious consequences for human beings and many other species. Sverdrup-Thygeson talks about eating insects for protein, the ripple effect of insect species dying off, and how cockroaches might save your life. Her book is 'Buzz, Sting, Bite.' Illustrator Lisa Hanawalt spoke with 'Fresh Air' producer Sam Briger about channeling anxiety into art. "Drawing is way of...
Published 07/29/19
When Lulu Wang's grandmother was diagnosed with terminal cancer and given three months to live, the family flew to China to see her, but decided not to tell her the prognosis. "I turned out to be a surprisingly good liar," Wang says. Her new film 'The Farewell,' starring Awkwafina, is based on her family's lie. Justin Chang reviews Quentin Tarantino's new film, 'Once Upon A Time... In Hollywood.' Neurologist Dr. Guy Leschziner, author of 'The Nocturnal Brain,' says sleep is not a binary...
Published 07/27/19