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.
Novelist Sigrid Nunez
Nunez's new novel, 'What Are You Going Through,' is about facing mortality and the relationship between a writer dying of cancer and the friend she asks to stay with her.
Lloyd Schwartz reviews a collection of performances by Leontyne Price, the first Black soprano to have a major career at the Metropolitan Opera. And John Powers reviews the Netflix miniseries 'The Queen's Gambit.'
Free Speech In The Age Of Disinformation
'New York Times Magazine' writer Emily Bazelon talks about how the lies and conspiracy theories sweeping through American media are leading some scholars to question our faith in free speech and in minimal government regulation of speech. Bazelon says false content moves through the Internet unchecked — undermining the political process along the way.
Also, jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews 'El Duelo.'
John Brown, Abraham Lincoln & The Fight To End Slavery
Historian H.W. Brands' new book, 'The Zealot and the Emancipator' looks at two very different 19th century leaders, John Brown and Abraham Lincoln. Brown was a militant abolitionist who embraced violence and was hanged after he tried to spark an insurrection at Harpers Ferry, Virginia. President Lincoln resisted conflict as long as possible, hoping laws and reason would keep Southern states in the Union, and eventually bring an end to human bondage.
Also, film critic Justin Chang reviews 'Martin Eden,' an adaptation of the Jack London novel.
Best Of: Broadway Stars Danny Burstein & Rebecca Luker / 'Nice White Parents' Creator
Married Broadway stars Danny Burstein and Rebecca Luker both contracted COVID in the spring, just as theaters went dark. Burstein was starring in 'Moulin Rouge' at the time. Burstein's case was severe and he nearly died. Luker's case was mild, but it came soon after she had been diagnosed with ALS. They talk with Terry Gross about how their illnesses have changed their lives and careers, and their hopes for the future.
Also, John Powers reviews 'David Byrne's American Utopia' on HBO, directed by Spike Lee.
'This American Life' producer Chana Joffe-Walt says progressive white parents may say they want their kids to go to diverse schools — but the reality tells a different story. "I think white parents are pretty savvy at evading the explicit conversation around race, although it's clearly shaping our thoughts about schools." She examines the complicated history of gentrification in a Brooklyn school in her new podcast, 'Nice White Parents.' It's a production of 'Serial' and 'The New York Times.'
How Women Have Been Left Out Of The Constitution / Remembering MLB's Joe Morgan
As a teen, Heidi Schreck debated the Constitution in competitions. Later she realized it had failed to protect four generations of women in her family. "I believed it was perfect. I believed it was a tool of justice. I did not realize as a 15-year-old girl how profoundly I had been left out of it. I didn't realize that it didn't protect me," Schreck says. Her award-winning Broadway play, 'What the Constitution Means to Me,' is now streaming on Amazon.
Also, we remember Joe Morgan, one of the few second-basemen to make it into baseball's Hall of Fame. He died Oct. 11 at the age of 77. He spoke with Terry Gross in 1993.
'My Octopus Teacher' Filmmaker
Craig Foster spent a year diving — without oxygen or a wetsuit — into the frigid sea near Cape Town, South Africa. One octopus began coming out of her den to hunt or explore while Foster watched. He documents their unlikely friendship in 'My Octopus Teacher,' now on Netflix.
Also, TV critic David Bianculli reviews the Netflix film, 'The Trial of the Chicago 7,' written by Aaron Sorkin.