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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. Each week, nearly 4.5 million people listen to the show's intimate conversations broadcast on more than 450 National Public Radio (NPR) stations across the country, as well as in Europe on the World Radio Network.

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.

Fresh Air is produced at WHYY-FM in Philadelphia and broadcast nationally by NPR.

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2:21pm

Thu December 11, 2014
Music

Three Jazz Box Sets For Stocking Stuffers

Fresh Air jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews three box sets featuring memorable pianists: the Chick Corea Trio's Trilogy, Herbie Hancock's Warner Bros. Years (1969-1972), and The Rosemary Clooney CBS Radio Recordings 1955-1961.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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2:21pm

Thu December 11, 2014
Author Interviews

Richard Pryor, A Comedy Pioneer Who Was 'Always Whittling On Dynamite'

Originally published on Thu December 11, 2014 3:14 pm

Comedian Richard Pryor, pictured in 1977, grew up in a brothel, surrounded by violence. "He said once that it's easier for him to talk about his life in front of 2,000 people than it is to do it one on one," says Scott Saul, whose new book is Becoming Richard Pryor.
AP

Comedian Richard Pryor's legacy still reverberates nearly 10 years after his death. Pryor took the most difficult troubling aspects of his life and turned it into comedy. He talked about being black in ways that had never been done before in mainstream entertainment. And he was fearless and hilarious talking about race relations.

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3:01pm

Wed December 10, 2014
All Tech Considered

Feeling Watched? 'God View' Is Geoff Nunberg's Word Of The Year

Originally published on Thu December 11, 2014 9:47 am

Geoffrey Nunberg says technology makes it seem as if we're always being watched, which is creepy.
Ralf Hirschberger AFP/Getty Images

"Infobesity," "lumbersexual," "phablet." As usual, the items that stand out as candidates for word of the year are like its biggest pop songs, catchy but ephemeral. But even a fleeting expression can sometimes encapsulate the zeitgeist. That's why I'm nominating "God view" for the honor.

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3:01pm

Wed December 10, 2014
Code Switch

Jacqueline Woodson On Growing Up, Coming Out And Saying Hi To Strangers

Jacqueline Woodson has published 30 books, and won three Newbery honors and a Coretta Scott King Book Award for her young adult book Miracle's Boys.
Marty Umans Courtesy of Penguin Group USA

When author Jacqueline Woodson was growing up in Greenville, S.C., in the '60s and '70s, she was keenly aware of segregation.

"We knew our place," Woodson tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "We knew our place was with our family. We knew where it was safest to be. There wasn't a lot of talk about the white world and what was going on in it; it didn't really have a lot to do with us, except in situations where there was the talk of resistance."

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1:35pm

Tue December 9, 2014
Afghanistan

Reporter In Kabul Wins Award For Courage In Journalism

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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TERRY GROSS, HOST:

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1:30pm

Mon December 8, 2014
Movie Interviews

Chris Rock On Finding The Line Between Funny And 'Too Far'

Originally published on Mon December 8, 2014 1:52 pm

Chris Rock wrote, directed and stars in Top Five, a film about a standup comedian who is trying to reshape his career.
Ali Paige Goldstein Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

In the new film Top Five, Chris Rock plays Andre Allen, a standup comedian who has starred in a series of blockbuster comedies as a catchphrase-spewing character called Hammy the Bear.

When Top Five begins, Allen has given up the Hammy movies, given up drinking and is trying to reshape his career with his new dramatic film about a Haitian slave rebellion. Like Allen, Rock says he has had doubts about his own career.

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1:13pm

Mon December 8, 2014
Art & Design

Spanish Artist Francisco Goya On Display In Boston: An Extraordinary Exhibit

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

1:13pm

Mon December 8, 2014
Music

Steve Lacy's Monk Quartet, Solo Sax Albums Reissues

Fresh Air jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews two reissues featuring the late soprano saxophonist Steve Lacy β€” a live recording of a 1963 quartet that only played Thelonious Monk tunes, and later music for solo soprano. Monk was always Lacy's biggest influence.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

12:56pm

Sat December 6, 2014
Fresh Air Weekend

Fresh Air Weekend: Ray Davies, Books For Jazz Lovers And Josh Brolin

In Inherent Vice, Joaquin Phoenix (left) plays a burned-out hippie private eye, while Josh Brolin is a Los Angeles Police Department detective --€” Lt. Detective "Bigfoot" Bjornsen --€” who is investigating a murder and kidnapping case.
Courtesy of Warner Bros. Entertainment

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:

Naive, Yet Revolutionary: Ray Davies On 50 Years Of The Kinks: "I think if I had been an accomplished songwriter, I wouldn't have written 'You Really Got Me,'" Davies tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross.

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4:19pm

Fri December 5, 2014
Music

A Punk Memoir That Makes The Ordinary Seem Transcendent

Fresh Air rock critic Ken Tucker says that one of the best books he's ever read about punk rock is a new memoir by Viv Albertine, one of the founding members of the British punk rock band the Slits. The book, titled Clothes, Clothes, Clothes. Music, Music, Music. Boys, Boys, Boys. chronicles Albertine's life with punk legends such as Sid Vicious of the Sex Pistols and Mick Jones of the Clash, on through subsequent careers as a film director and mother.

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4:04pm

Fri December 5, 2014
Remembrances

Fresh Air Remembers British Rock Keyboardist Ian McLagan

Originally published on Fri December 5, 2014 4:15 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

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1:42pm

Fri December 5, 2014
Movie Reviews

Prayers And Holy Water Can't Exorcise The Terrifying 'Babadook'

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

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3:29pm

Thu December 4, 2014
Book Reviews

Set In Appalachia, This Rewarding Story Collection Is 'Rich And Strange'

Ron Rash is a poet, novelist and short-story writer whose 2009 novel Serena was a New York Times bestseller. Rash's signature subject is life in Appalachia, past and present.
Ulf Andersen Courtesy of Ecco

Expect to be good for nothing for a long time after you read Ron Rash. His writing is powerful, stripped down and very still: It takes you to a land apart, psychologically and geographically, since his fiction is set in Appalachia.

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3:29pm

Thu December 4, 2014
Movie Interviews

After Decades Acting, Josh Brolin Still Wonders If He's 'Good Enough'

Originally published on Fri December 5, 2014 9:34 am

In Inherent Vice, Joaquin Phoenix (left) plays a burned-out hippie private eye, while Josh Brolin is a Los Angeles Police Department detective --€” Lt. Detective "Bigfoot" Bjornsen --€” who is investigating a murder and kidnapping case.
Courtesy of Warner Bros. Entertainment

The new film Inherent Vice satirizes overcomplicated detective-story plots by having an especially overcomplicated plot of its own. It's a Paul Thomas Anderson adaptation of Thomas Pynchon's 2009 novel.

"It's so dense," co-star Josh Brolin tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "I mean, Pynchon will be following some linear structure, and then suddenly he'll take a big bong hit and go off on some tangent that still, you realize, eventually comes around and actually is connected in various ways."

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1:28pm

Wed December 3, 2014
Music

Three Books For The Jazz Lover On Your List

Originally published on Thu December 4, 2014 4:33 pm

Fresh Air jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews three jazz books out this holiday seasonβ€”a singer's biography, a pianist's autobiography, and a fat coffee table book. Whitehead says they're all worth a look, though he has a couple of quibbles β€” and also a confession.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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