Fresh Air

Weekdays at 6pm
Terry Gross
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Book Reviews
12:42 pm
Mon June 17, 2013

In 'TransAtlantic,' The Flight Is Almost Too Smooth

Colum McCann's new book imagines the intersections of three historic flights across the Atlantic Ocean.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon June 17, 2013 2:22 pm

Here we go into the wild blue yonder again with Colum McCann. In his 2009 novel, Let the Great World Spin, McCann swooped readers up into the air with the French aerialist Philippe Petit, who staged an illegal high-wire stunt walk between the twin towers of the World Trade Center in 1974. Strictly speaking, Let the Great World Spin was not a Sept. 11 novel, and yet almost everyone rightly read it as one, since McCann's tale commemorated the towers at the literal zenith of their history.

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Fresh Air Weekend
8:03 am
Sat June 15, 2013

Fresh Air Weekend: Rogen, Goldberg, '20 Feet From Stardom' And 'Much Ado'

Jo Lawry, Judith Hill and Lisa Fischer are three of the backup singers profiled in the new documentary 20 Feet From Stardom.
RadiusTWC

Originally published on Sat June 15, 2013 10:25 am

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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Movie Reviews
12:31 pm
Fri June 14, 2013

Whedon's Touch Finds A Match With 'Much Ado'

Fran Kranz stars as Claudio in Joss Whedon's new take on Shakespeare's classic comedy Much Ado About Nothing.
Elsa Guillet-Chapuis Roadside Attractions

One word sums up my reaction to Joss Whedon's film of Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing: Huzzah!

Here is the creator of Buffy the Vampire Slayer — and the director of The Avengers — working with American TV actors who have little or no training in verse-speaking. Who could have predicted such a team would produce the best of all filmed Shakespeare comedies?

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Author Interviews
12:26 pm
Fri June 14, 2013

Mantel Takes Up Betrayal, Beheadings In 'Bodies'

Hilary Mantel's Wolf Hall won both the Man Booker Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award. The sequel, Bring Up the Bodies, won this year's Man Booker Prize.
Francesco Guidicini

This interview was originally broadcast on Nov. 26, 2012.

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Television
10:36 am
Fri June 14, 2013

John Oliver: Topical Comedy With A Crisp Accent

Originally published on Fri June 14, 2013 12:26 pm

This interview was originally broadcast on Jan. 5, 2010.

With Daily Show host Jon Stewart on leave for the summer, comedian John Oliver has stepped in to host the show that's become his television home base.

Oliver relocated from the U.K. in 2006 to become the "Senior British Correspondent" on The Daily Show With Jon Stewart. For his work there, he won an Emmy in 2009.

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Remembrances
1:58 pm
Thu June 13, 2013

Israeli Writer Yoram Kaniuk, 83, On Pain And Peace

Yoram Kaniuk speaks in 2008 at the AFI Fest premiere of Adam Resurrected, based on a novel he wrote.
Michael Buckner Getty Images

Originally published on Thu June 13, 2013 2:34 pm

Born in Israel in 1930, Yoram Kaniuk wrote novels and articles that explored war, the Holocaust, Israel, and the prospect of peace for Israelis and Palestinians. He was an outspoken proponent of the need for Israelis and Palestinians to understand that both groups of people deserve sovereignty.

"Both sides are right, and both sides are so strong about the rightness," he told Fresh Air's Terry Gross in August 1988. He believed that arguing over "who suffered more" wasn't productive.

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Author Interviews
12:55 pm
Thu June 13, 2013

Florida-Grown Fiction: Hiaasen Satirizes The Sunshine State

As with many of his novels, Hiaasen sets his latest — Bad Monkey — in his home state of Florida.
Knopf

Originally published on Thu June 13, 2013 3:45 pm

As a columnist for the Miami Herald and a prolific novelist of books such as Strip Tease, Lucky You and Star Island, Carl Hiaasen has a subject: Florida. Hiaasen grew up in the state during the 1950s and has lived and worked there his entire life, watching it morph from a rural backwater with abundant natural beauty and resources to one struggling with the effects of development and tourism.

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Music Reviews
11:03 am
Thu June 13, 2013

Slaid Cleaves: 'Still Fighting' With Smart Lyrics And Stories

Slaid Cleaves' music is influenced by singer-songwriters such as Woody Guthrie, Bruce Springsteen, Hank Williams and Johnny Cash.
Karen Cleaves Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu June 13, 2013 2:34 pm

Raised in South Berwick, Maine, and residing in Austin, Texas, Slaid Cleaves is no one's idea of a music-industry insider. He writes and sings songs primarily about working-class people and romantics both hopeful and hopeless. That said, it's also not difficult to hear another element of the fortysomething Cleaves' past: He was an English and philosophy major at Tufts, and his lyrics are underpinned by both a fine sense of meter and moral perspicacity.

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Movie Interviews
12:28 pm
Wed June 12, 2013

'20 Feet From' The Spotlight, There's Singing Worthy Of One

Singer Merry Clayton performs in Hollywood during a celebration of Carole King and her music.
Michael Buckner Getty Images

Originally published on Wed June 12, 2013 1:31 pm

The documentary 20 Feet From Stardom, which explores the world of rock 'n' roll's backup singers, opens to the soundtrack of Lou Reed's "Walk on the Wild Side." Reed sings half the refrain — "And the colored girls go, doo do doo do doo" — until a chorus of backup singers pick up the "Do doo" line. At first these women sound far away, but as the chorus progresses, their voices get louder, less produced and polished, more real and intimate.

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Music Reviews
12:28 pm
Wed June 12, 2013

Fame Studios And The Road To Nashville Songwriting Glory

Fame Studio

Originally published on Thu June 13, 2013 8:57 am

Wallace Daniel Pennington grew up singing. His father played guitar and his mother played piano, and by the age of 9, the young man had a guitar of his own. The family attended church on Sunday and Wednesday each week, and to this day, Dan Penn says he remembers the entire Methodist congregation belting out hymns.

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