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Fresh Air

Fresh Air

Fresh Air from WHYY, the Peabody Award-winning weekday magazine of contemporary arts and issues, is one of public radio's most popular programs. Hosted by Terry Gross, the show features intimate conversations with today's biggest luminaries.

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Episodes

Tom Jones

The singer Tom Jones, who became a pop star and sex symbol in the 1960s with "It's Not Unusual," "Delilah," and "What's New Pussycat?" has a new album. He spoke with Terry Gross in 2003. Also, we remember dancer Jacques d'Amboise, who was with the New York City Ballet for decades. He died May 2.

And Justin Chang reviews 'The Woman in the Window.'
2021-05-14
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Unlocking The Mysteries Of Endometriosis

It's estimated that one in 10 women experience endometriosis during their reproductive years, a condition where cells from the uterine lining go rogue, move to other organs and grow there, leading to terrible pain. Many women who have the disorder struggle to be properly diagnosed. Dr. Linda Griffith spent years in debilitating pain before she was finally diagnosed. "I was told it was normal. I was told that I was under stress ... [that] I was rejecting my femininity," she says. In 2009, she co-founded the MIT Center for Gynepathology Research, where she studies the disorder. We talk about "period privilege," why she kept her condition a secret for so long, and treatments on the horizon.

Also, David Bianculli reviews the HBO Max series 'Hacks' starring Jean Smart.
2021-05-13
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Actor Jean Smart

Smart's breakout role was on the '80s sitcom 'Designing Women.' She's had recent great roles as the head of a crime family on 'Fargo' and as an FBI agent on 'Watchmen.' Now she co-stars in the HBO series 'Mare of Easttown' and stars in HBO Max comedy 'Hacks,' as a veteran comic forced to update her act. Smart talks about meeting her late husband, learning the Delaware County accent for 'Mare of Easttown' and the 'Fraiser' line fans quote back to her.
2021-05-12
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Writer Francisco Goldman Revisits His Childhood With 'Monkey Boy'

The son of a Jewish father and a Guatemalan mother, Goldman grew up mostly in working class suburbs of Boston. His new novel, 'Monkey Boy,' draws on his own experiences, including being physically abused by his dad. "I wanted to go back and look at some very difficult years of my childhood and adolescence," Goldman says.
2021-05-11
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Filmmaker Barry Jenkins On 'The Underground Railroad'

Barry Jenkins says filming his new series about an enslaved girl who escapes from a plantation was the most difficult project of his career ? and one that made him feel closer to his own ancestors. "It was incredibly difficult, partly because we were standing in places where ... these atrocities had occurred," he says. Jenkins directed 'Moonlight,' which won the 2017 Oscar for Best Picture, as well as the 2018 adaptation of James Baldwin's novel, 'If Beale Street Could Talk.' We talk about depicting the brutality of slavery onscreen, his own family history, and why he wanted to become a filmmaker.
2021-05-10
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Best Of: Advocate For Teen Moms, Nicole Lynn Lewis / Cartoonist Alison Bechdel

As a pregnant teenager, Nicole Lynn Lewis felt ashamed. Now she knows many pregnant teens share the problems she had ? including an abusive boyfriend, and being temporarily homeless. She says the odds against pregnant teens going to college and having a career are even greater, if you're Black, like she is. We talk about her new memoir, 'Pregnant Girl.'

Also, we hear from Alison Bechdel. Her graphic memoir 'Fun Home,' about coming out and learning her father had secret gay affairs, was adapted into a Tony Award-winning musical. Her new graphic memoir, 'The Secret to Superhuman Strength,' is about her obsession with exercise and the issues that have fed that obsession.

And, jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews a new Louis Armstrong box set.
2021-05-08
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Celebrating Mothers: Feat. Trevor Noah, Scorsese & More

We celebrate Mother's Day with stories of mom from past interviews with 'Daily Show' host Trevor Noah, Martin Scorsese and filmmaker Albert Brooks. And Lorna Luft remembers her mother, Judy Garland.

Also, David Bianculli reviews 'Attenborough's Journey,' a BBC America special that salutes the nature broadcaster.
2021-05-07
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How Systemic Racism Determines Black Health & Wealth In Chicago

There is a 30-year gap in the life expectancy of some Black and white Chicagoans. Journalist Linda Villarosa talks about the link between racism and health outcomes, and tells her own family's story.

Also, we remember rock historian Ed Ward, who died this week.
2021-05-06
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Alison Bechdel On 'The Secret To Superhuman Strength'

Bechdel's new graphic memoir is about her lifelong obsession with exercise. She says she has a "predisposition of being extremely self-conscious and very caught up in my head" ? and exercise helps. Bechdel's previous graphic memoir, 'Fun Home,' was about coming out at age 19, and discovering her father had a secret gay life. It was adapted into a Tony Award-winning Broadway show.

Also, Justin Chang reviews 'The Disciple,' a film about a man from Mumbai who aspires to be a great classical musician.
2021-05-05
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The Social Lives Of Trees

Ecologist Suzanne Simard says trees are "social creatures" that communicate with each other in remarkable ways ? including warning each other of danger and sharing nutrients at critical times. Her book is 'Finding the Mother Tree.'

Also, classical music critic Lloyd Schwartz reviews a collection by composer Bernard Herrmann, best-known for the scores he wrote for Alfred Hitchcock.
2021-05-04
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Former 'Pregnant Girl' Now Helps Other Teen Moms Succeed

In her new memoir, 'Pregnant Girl,' Nicole Lynn Lewis recalls feeling overwhelmed and isolated as a young mom in college. Now she runs an organization that is designed to support young parents with their education. We talk about her experience as a teen mom, the way society abandons young mothers ? particularly young Black mothers ? and how to help give young families the support they need to succeed.
2021-05-03
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Best Of: Stephen Colbert / NPR's 50th Anniversary

Stephen Colbert has been taping 'The Late Show' without a studio audience during the pandemic ? but he's not always alone. Sometimes his wife Evie is in the room. If she laughs, he knows he's on the right track. "I got into show business in a way to not be alone. Like a lot of comedians, I'm a bit of a broken toy," he says.

NPR's program, 'All Things Considered' debuted on May 3, 1971. 'ATC' creator Bill Siemering and former co-host Susan Stamberg look back on the early years of the network, NPR's mission, and Stamberg's pioneering role as the first woman to anchor a daily national news program in America.
2021-05-01
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Remembering Astronaut Michael Collins

While Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin made their historic walk on the moon, Lt. Col. Michael Collins orbited above in the Apollo 11 command capsule, waiting to rendezvous with them. For a time, on the far side of the moon, he was cut off from everyone. "It's utterly quiet. Completely serene," he told Terry Gross in 1988. "I knew that over on the other side there were 3 billion on that funny looking little planet out there, and two on the surface of the moon, but where I was that was all. Just me." Collins died Wednesday at the age of 90.

Also, we hear an excerpt of our interview with Kate Winslet. She's starring in the new HBO series 'Mare of Easttown.'

And Justin Chang reviews the Swedish film 'About Endlessness,' which he calls "beautifully bittersweet"
2021-04-30
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Novelist Imbolo Mbue

Set in a fictional African village in the 1980s, Mbue's latest novel, 'How Beautiful We Were,' is a David and Goliath tale about a group of villagers who take on an American oil company. Guest host Arun Venugopal talks with Mbue about her childhood in Cameroon, becoming a U.S. citizen, and the activist that inspired her new novel. Her first book, 'Behold the Dreamers,' was a 'New York Times' bestseller.

Also, Kevin Whitehead reviews a new collection of Louis Armstrong studio recordings. And Maureen Corrigan reviews two stories about the bargains we strike for love ? 'Early Morning Riser' and 'Secrets of Happiness.'
2021-04-29
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50 Years Of NPR: Radio Legends Susan Stamberg & Bill Siemering

NPR's program, 'All Things Considered' debuted on May 3, 1971. 'ATC' creator Bill Siemering and former co-host Susan Stamberg look back on the early years of the network, NPR's mission, and Stamberg's pioneering role as the first woman to anchor a daily national news program in America.
2021-04-28
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Catching Up with Stephen Colbert

Stephen Colbert has been taping 'The Late Show' without a studio audience during the pandemic ? but he's not always alone. Sometimes his wife Evie is in the room. If she laughs, he knows he's on the right track. "I got into show business in a way to not be alone. Like a lot of comedians, I'm a bit of a broken toy," he says. Colbert and Terry Gross catch up on the past four years, since the Trump administration and COVID-19 changed his comedy.
2021-04-27
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How Processed Food Companies Get Us 'Hooked' On Junk

Journalist Michael Moss says processed foods can be as addictive as cocaine, heroin and cigarettes. In his new book, 'Hooked,' Moss explores how these companies appeal to our senses, nostalgia and brain chemistry to keep us snacking. "It's inexpensive, it's legal, it's everywhere," Moss says. "And the advertising from the companies is cueing us to remember those products and we want those products constantly."

Ken Tucker reviews Carsie Blanton's album 'Love & Rage.'
2021-04-26
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Best Of: 'Resistance' Podcast Host Saidu Tejan-Thomas Jr. / Courtney B. Vance

Saidu Tejan-Thomas Jr. lost a close friend from college to police violence. His Spotify podcast, 'Resistance,' explores different aspects of the movement for Black lives ? including Tejan-Thomas Jr.'s personal history. We also talk about his childhood in Sierra Leone during the civil war.

Courtney B. Vance got his start in the theater, with a breakout role in the August Wilson play 'Fences' on Broadway. We talk about his origin story and his recent roles as Aretha Franklin's father, Rev. C.L. Franklin, in 'Genius: Aretha,' and as the show-stopping attorney Johnnie Cochran, in 'The People v. O.J. Simpson.'
2021-04-24
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Pixar 'Soul' Creators Pete Docter & Kemp Powers

The Oscar-nominated animated film imagines a place where souls are matched with unique passions. It follows Joe Gardner, a middle school band teacher and aspiring jazz musician, who nearly dies right after securing the gig of his life. Pete Docter and Kemp Powers say their movie is meant to challenge conventional notions of success and failure. We talk about lost souls, appreciating the small things, and early versions of the film.

Justin Chang reviews 'Moffie,' about a white gay teen in Apartheid South Africa.
2021-04-23
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The Social Psychologist Who Works To Reduce Harm In Policing

Yale professor Dr. Phillip Atiba Goff co-founded the Center for Policing Equity, which collects data on police behavior from 18,000 law enforcement agencies across the country. He says most people think of racism as an issue of character and ignorance. But, he says, focusing on changing racist attitudes is "a bad way to stop the behavior," He says. "The best way to regulate behavior is to regulate behavior. And that's what we can do in policing. That's what we can do in our communities. That's what we can do with policies."

Also, book critic Maureen Corrigan reviews 'Nives' by Italian writer Sacha Naspini, newly translated into English.
2021-04-22
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Courtney B. Vance On Playing Rev. C.L. Franklin & Johnnie Cochran

Courtney B. Vance got his start in the theater, with a breakout role in the August Wilson play 'Fences' on Broadway. We talk about his origin story and his recent roles as Aretha Franklin's father, Rev. C.L. Franklin, in 'Genius: Aretha,' and as the show-stopping attorney Johnnie Cochran, in 'The People v. O.J. Simpson.' Vance attributes much of his career success to the dean of the Yale Drama School when he was there, Lloyd Richards, who lifted up Black performers.
2021-04-21
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Growing Up In A Cult, Lauren Hough Freed Herself By Writing

Hough was 15 when her family left the Children of God cult. Afterward, she struggled to face the trauma of her past. At 18 she joined the Air Force during "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," and was discharged for being gay. "I spent a long time lying to myself more than, I think, anyone else. Telling myself that my childhood didn't affect me, telling myself that the military didn't affect me," she says. "I think writing, more than anything, brought that out. ... You kind of have to tell the truth or it's crap and you know it." Her new collection of personal essays is 'Leaving Isn't the Hardest Thing.'

Podcast critic Nick Quah reviews 'Renegades,' Spotify's podcast of President Obama and Bruce Springsteen in conversation. And jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews a tribute album to Ornette Coleman by Miguel Zenón.
2021-04-20
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'How To Be An Adult' & 'Real American' Author Julie Lythcott-Haims

Former Stanford University undergraduate dean Julie Lythcott-Haims' new book, 'Your Turn: How to Be an Adult,' is a handbook on adulthood, offering insights and strategies on education and career choices, building friendships and coping with setbacks. Her 2017 memoir, 'Real American,' is the story of her coming to terms with her racial identity. Her father was a successful African American physician, her mother a white British woman. We talk about both books and her upbringing.

Also John Powers reviews the first English translation of Kaoru Takamura's 'Lady Joker,' a crime novel that sold a million copies and spawned a movie and TV series in Japan.
2021-04-19
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Best Of: Choreographer Twyla Tharp / Henry Louis Gates On 'The Black Church'

'Twyla Moves,' a new documentary by PBS American Masters, tells the story of the legendary choreographer and dancer, who got her start performing on subway platforms and rooftops in the 1960s. "If it was kind of level, it was fair territory," she tells Terry Gross.

Kevin Whitehead reviews a newly unearthed album from Hasaan Ibn Ali.

'Finding Your Roots' host Henry Louis Gates has a new book and PBS series called 'The Black Church.' Gates describes the Black church as "the cultural cauldron Black people created to combat a system designed in every way to crush their spirit." We'll talk about the bargain Gates made with Jesus when he was 12 in an attempt to save his mother's life.
2021-04-17
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Native Peoples' 'Long, Brutal Fight For Survival'

Louise Erdrich's novel, 'The Night Watchman,' was inspired by her grandfather, a chairman of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa who fought a Congressional initiative to move indigenous peoples off their land and into cities. Erdrich says the policy amounted to tribal termination. "Termination was a way to finally resolve what Congress thought of as 'the Indian problem,'" she says.

David Bianculli reviews HBO's 'Mare of Easttown,' starring Kate Winslet.
2021-04-16
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'Resistance' Podcast Host On The Fight For Black Lives

Saidu Tejan-Thomas Jr. lost a close friend from college to police violence. His Spotify podcast, 'Resistance,' explores different aspects of the movement for Black lives ? including Tejan-Thomas Jr.'s personal history. We talk about his childhood in Sierra Leone, his poetry, and losing his parents at a young age.
2021-04-15
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The 'Secret History' Of The Sackler Family & The Opioid Crisis

The Sackler family owns Purdue Pharma, which made billions of dollars selling OxyContin, an opiate painkiller stronger than morphine. Introduced in 1996, OxyContin has been largely blamed for the opioid addiction crisis that followed. The Sacklers and the company are currently facing more than 2,500 lawsuits related to its practices. We talk with journalist Patrick Radden Keefe about the development of OxyContin, what the family knew about the danger of the drug, and how they have tried to thwart his reporting. His book is 'Empire of Pain.'
2021-04-14
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Henry Louis Gates Jr. On The Black Church

The 'Finding Your Roots' host has a new book and PBS series called 'The Black Church.' Gates describes the Black church as "the cultural cauldron Black people created to combat a system designed in every way to crush their spirit." We'll talk about the bargain Gates made with Jesus when he was 12 in an attempt to save his mother's life. He'll tell us how that bargain changed him, and how his relationship to the church has changed over the years.

Maureen Corrigan reviews the new novel 'The Final Revival of Opal and Nev,' about a '70s rock duo.
2021-04-13
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Leslie Odom Jr. / 'Promising Young Woman' Filmmaker Emerald Fennell

Tony and Grammy-winning actor Leslie Odom Jr. is best-known for his role as Aaron Burr in 'Hamilton.' Now he stars as Sam Cooke in Regina King's film 'One Night in Miami,' which imagines a night where Cassius Clay, Malcolm X, Jim Brown and Cooke meet. Odom talks about studying Cooke's voice, hearing Burr's song "Wait for It" for the first time, and how the musical 'Rent' inspired him as a teen. Odom is nominated for two Oscars ? for his role as Sam Cooke and for his original song, "Speak Now."

In the dark comedy 'Promising Young Woman,' Cassie (Carey Mulligan) works at a coffee shop by day, and hunts sexual predators by night. She goes to bars, pretends to be falling down drunk ? and then confronts the men who try to take advantage of her. Cassie is avenging the death of her best friend, who, the movie implies, has died by suicide after being raped at medical school. Writer and director Emerald Fennell says the film was inspired, in part, by the messages other movies send about alcohol and consent. We talk with Fennell about her Oscar-nominated film, her work on 'Killing Eve' and her portrayal of Camilla Parker Bowles on 'The Crown.'
2021-04-12
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Best Of: Brandi Carlile / Palestinian Cookbook Author Reem Kassis

Six-time Grammy winner Brandi Carlile got her start onstage as a kid, singing backup for an Elvis impersonator. Her new memoir, 'Broken Horses,' is about her early life and the family of misfits she's built. "I think I'm starting to really feel sort of solid and loved in my world. Like maybe I've kind of finally found my place," she says.

Maureen Corrigan reviews Kaitlyn Greenidge's novel 'Libertie.'

Palestinian cookbook author Reem Kassis began gathering family recipes after the birth of her first child. The recipes, she says, "could be the story of any and every Palestinian family." Her new cookbook is 'The Arabesque Table.'
2021-04-10
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Prolific Background Singer Merry Clayton

Singer Merry Clayton did the iconic background vocals of the 1969 Rolling Stones song "Gimme Shelter." But despite the fame and success of the record, Clayton remained largely anonymous. Until, that is, she was featured as one of the backup singers in the 2014 Oscar-winning documentary '20 Feet from Stardom.' Over the course of her career, Clayton sang with Ray Charles, Joe Cocker, Carole King and many others. Now she's got a new album ? where she's front and center ? called 'Beautiful Scars.' She spoke with Terry Gross in 2013.

Also, we'll hear some of our 2020 interview with filmmaker Craig Foster. His Netflix documentary 'My Octopus Teacher' is nominated for an Oscar.
2021-04-09
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Choreographer Twyla Tharp

'Twyla Moves,' a new documentary by PBS American Masters, tells the story of the legendary choreographer and dancer, who got her start performing on subway platforms and rooftops in the 1960s. "If it was kind of level, it was fair territory," she says. We talk about starting an all-women dance company, mixing classical and modern dance, and choreographing dancers over Zoom in the pandemic.

Also, TV critic David Bianculli reviews 'The Nevers' on HBO Max.
2021-04-08
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Palestinian Cookbook Author Reem Kassis

Reem Kassis began gathering family recipes after the birth of her first child. The recipes, she says, "could be the story of any and every Palestinian family." We talk about her favorite fried egg recipe, the importance of za'atar seasoning, and her unlikely friendship with Israeli chef Michael Solomonov. Her new cookbook is 'The Arabesque Table.'
2021-04-07
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The Intersection Of Black Performance, Joy & Pain

What do 'Soul Train' and Whitney Houston tell us about race in the U.S? Poet and culture critic Hanif Abdurraqib's book, 'A Little Devil in America,' traces the history of Black performance through moments in pop culture, emphasizing the joy and excellence. He spoke with contributor Arun Venugopal.

Also, Kevin Whitehead reviews a posthumous record by jazz pianist Hasaan Ibn Ali, and book critic Maureen Corrigan reviews 'Libertie,' a new novel by Kaitlyn Greenidge.
2021-04-06
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Brandi Carlile

The six-time Grammy winner got her start onstage as a kid, singing backup for an Elvis impersonator. Her new memoir, 'Broken Horses,' is about her early life and the family of misfits she's built. "I think I'm starting to really feel sort of solid and loved in my world. Like maybe I've kind of finally found my place," Carlile says.
2021-04-05
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Best Of: The Amazing Lives Of Migratory Birds / 'Lovecraft Country' Creator

Author and bird researcher Scott Weidensaul shares amazing stories of the billions of migratory birds that journey over our heads every year, how they manage their feats physically, and how they're threatened by economic development and climate change. His new book is 'A World on the Wing.'

Ken Tucker reviews the first full-length solo album from gospel singer Elizabeth King.

Also, we hear from Misha Green, the creator of the HBO series 'Lovecraft Country,' which takes the real horrors of the Black experience in the 1950s and adds to it the supernatural terrors of the horror genre.
2021-04-03
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Christopher Meloni / Remembering Larry McMurtry & G. Gordon Liddy

We remember novelist and screenwriter Larry McMurtry who died last week at the age of 84. Raised on a Texas ranch, McMurtry wrote about the American West in the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel 'Lonesome Dove', which was later made into a beloved miniseries. He also authored 'The Last Picture Show' and 'Terms of Endearment,' both of which were adapted into films.

Also, we listen back to some of our interview with actor Christopher Meloni. He's best known for his 12 seasons as detective Elliot Stabler on 'Law & Order: SVU.' He's returning to the franchise, starring in the new series 'Law & Order: Organized Crime.'

And we'll hear some of Terry's 1980 interview with Watergate conspirator G. Gordon Liddy, who died Tuesday.
2021-04-02
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Tackling Child Poverty Through COVID Relief

'New York Times' reporter Jason DeParle says a provision in the new COVID relief package has the makings of a policy revolution ? and "would roughly cut child poverty in half." Qualifying families with children will receive between $250 and $300 a month per child, money families can spend however they want. This kind of child allowance is the norm in other affluent countries, like Canada and the U.K., but is "stunning in the American context," he says.

Also, John Powers reviews the new Tunisian film 'The Man Who Sold His Skin,' nominated for the Oscar for Best International Feature.
2021-04-01
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The High Stakes Of Amazon's 'One-Click America'

ProPublica journalist Alec MacGillis says a union vote by Amazon workers in Alabama could determine "what life is going to look like for the working class in America in years to come." We talk with MacGillis about how Amazon's size, aggressive business practices and warehouse working conditions are drawing the attention of union organizers and anti-trust crusaders in Congress. His new book is 'Fulfillment: Winning and Losing in One-Click America.'

Also, Kevin Whitehead reviews Erwin Helfer's record 'Celebrate the Journey.'
2021-03-31
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'Lovecraft Country' Creator Misha Green

The HBO series 'Lovecraft Country' takes the real horrors of the Black experience in the 1950s and adds to it the supernatural terrors of the horror genre. We talk to series creator Misha Green about reclaiming the genre space for people of color, her writers' room, and how scary movies make her feel brave.

Also, TV critic David Bianculli reviews the new Ken Burns PBS documentary series 'Hemingway.'
2021-03-30
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The Amazing Lives Of Migratory Birds

Author Scott Weidensaul talks about the millions of birds flying unseen over our heads in the night sky, how the bar-tailed godwit can fly more than a week over water without stopping, and how new tracking technology may help with strategies to keep them alive. His new book is 'A World on the Wing.'

Also, Ken Tucker reviews the first full-length solo album from gospel singer Elizabeth King.
2021-03-29
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Best Of: The Making Of 'Soul' / The Afterlife Of Mass Incarceration

The Oscar-nominated animated film 'Soul' imagines a place where souls are matched with unique passions. It follows Joe Gardner, a middle school band teacher and aspiring jazz musician, who nearly dies right after securing the gig of his life. Filmmakers Pete Docter and Kemp Powers say their movie is meant to challenge conventional notions of success and failure.

There are 45,000 laws, policies and administrative sanctions in the U.S. that target people with criminal records. We talk with University of Chicago sociologist Reuben Jonathan Miller about how they affect people's lives. "I want us to think about all these traps that we've created, we've produced, and I want us to unmake them," Miller says. His book is 'Halfway Home.'
2021-03-27
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Actors Riz Ahmed / Kathryn Hahn

Riz Ahmed plays a drummer who loses his hearing in 'Sound of Metal.' To prepare for the role, he immersed himself in deaf culture ? an experience that changed the way he thought about communication and listening. The film earned him a Best Actor Oscar nomination.

Also, we listen back to our 2019 interview with actor Kathryn Hahn. She's known for her roles in 'Parks & Rec,' 'Mrs. Fletcher,' and 'I Love Dick.' Now she's co-starring in 'WandaVision' as a nosey and mysterious neighbor. "The most complicated and messy roles I've been able to get have been offered through women," she says. "I'm just so buoyed and galvanized that the juiciest part of [my career] has been post-kids."
2021-03-26
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The Threat Of Domestic Terrorism

Elizabeth Neumann resigned from the Department of Homeland Security in April of 2020. She says the Trump administration ignored the threat ? and fanned the flames ? of violent domestic extremism. She's now co-director of the Republican Accountability Project, which pushes back on conspiracy theories and false claims that the election was stolen and is trying to hold accountable elected leaders who have supported those narratives.

John Powers reviews the Danish film 'Another Round.'
2021-03-25
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The Afterlife Of Mass Incarceration

There are 45,000 laws, policies and administrative sanctions in the U.S. that target people with criminal records. University of Chicago sociologist Reuben Jonathan Miller researches how they affect people's lives in 'Halfway Home.' "I want us to think about all these traps that we've created, we've produced, and I want us to unmake them," Miller says.
2021-03-24
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The Making Of Pixar's 'Soul'

The Oscar-nominated animated film imagines a place where souls are matched with unique passions. It follows Joe Gardner, a middle school band teacher and aspiring jazz musician, who nearly dies right after securing the gig of his life. Pete Docter and Kemp Powers say their movie is meant to challenge conventional notions of success and failure. We talk about lost souls, appreciating the small things, and early versions of the film.

Also, Maureen Corrigan reviews Christine Smallwood's novel 'The Life of the Mind.'
2021-03-23
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Correcting The Record On Lady Bird Johnson

The former first lady is often remembered as a genteel Southerner who promoted highway beautification, but author Julia Sweig says archival records show Lady Bird was a savvy political strategist and key advisor to her husband, President Lyndon Johnson. Lady Bird was a supporter of women's rights, and a sponsor of ambitious programs to protect the environment and address urban poverty and blight. Sweig's book is 'Lady Bird Johnson: Hiding in Plain Sight.'

Also, jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews an album from pianist Benoit Delbecq.
2021-03-22
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Best Of: The Story Behind 'Unorthodox' / Novelist Kazuo Ishiguro

Deborah Feldman's memoir, 'Unorthodox,' about leaving the Satmar Hasidic community in Brooklyn, inspired the Netflix series of the same name. Growing up, she wasn't supposed to pursue an education or career, and, at 17, she entered into an arranged marriage with a man she'd barely met. Her departure from the community earned the scorn of Satmar leaders and forced a break with family members she'd known all her life.

Ken Tucker reviews Julien Baker's third studio album, 'Little Oblivions.'

Nobel Prize-winning novelist Kazuo Ishiguro's new book, 'Klara and the Sun,' is set in the future and has an artificially intelligent narrator. "I wanted some of that childlike freshness and openness and naivety to survive all the way through the text in her," he says.
2021-03-20
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Country Icon Loretta Lynn

The country music star's 50th studio album, 'Still Woman Enough,' is out now. Lynn spoke with Terry Gross in 2010 about her memoir, 'Coal Miner's Daughter.'

Also, Justin Chang reviews 'The Father,' starring Anthony Hopkins and Olivia Coleman. And Lloyd Schwartz reviews a PBS special about Black contralto singer Marian Anderson.
2021-03-19
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Could Trump Be Convicted Of Criminal Charges?

'New Yorker' writer Jane Mayer talks about the criminal investigation into whether Donald Trump engaged in tax, banking and/or insurance fraud. If convicted, he could be sentenced to prison. "The thing that's most complicated about this case and makes it really hard is that in order for this to be a criminal act, they have to prove that there was criminal intent ? that Trump intended to break the law and knew what the law was," Mayer says.
2021-03-18
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