Fresh Air

Weekdays 12:00PM
  • Hosted by Terry Gross

Opening the window on contemporary arts and issues with guests from worlds as diverse as literature and economics.

Find out more on the Fresh Air site.

In 1944, World War II was dragging on and the Nazi forces seemed to be faltering. Yet, in military briefings, Adolf Hitler's optimism did not wane. His generals wondered if he had a secret weapon up his sleeve, something that would change the war around in the last second.

Last week, when news surfaced about various meetings between the Russian ambassador and members of Donald Trump's campaign, Huffington Post editor Howard Fineman appeared on MSNBC and said, "If you think the Russian ambassador is just an ambassador, you haven't been watching The Americans."

There's a tendency to approach a posthumous collection of work by an esteemed "writer's writer" with respectful courtesy, but Stanley Elkin's essays demand a rowdier response from readers. They're weird and spirited, full of literal piss and vinegar. Pieces of Soap is the name of this collection and writer Sam Lipsyte, in his introduction, rightly says that reading Elkin makes you realize "how lazy most writing is."

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TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

Writer and actress Issa Rae is upfront about the fact that she doesn't always fit in. She tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross that she was so socially uncomfortable and introverted growing up that one day she wrote the phrase "I'm awkward. And black" in her journal, and it was a revelatory moment.

"I knew I was black, obviously, but the 'awkward' part really just defined me in a sense," Rae says. "That felt like an identity that I had not seen reflected in television or film before, or at least in a very long time."

Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

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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Before I talk about the new historical film Loving from writer/director Jeff Nichols, I have to confess: I don't usually enjoy civil rights movies.

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TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

It has been more than a year since Stephen Colbert took over as host of CBS' The Late Show, and he's finally feeling comfortable being himself and not a character.

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