Fresh Air

Weekdays 3 and 7 p.m.
  • Hosted by Terry Gross

An award-winning show and one of public radio's most iconic programs, Fresh Air is a weekday "talk show" that hardly fits the mold. Fresh Air Weekend collects the week's best cultural segments and crafts them together for great weekend listening. The show is produced by WHYY. Fresh Air opens the window on contemporary arts and issues with guests from worlds as diverse as literature and economics. Terry Gross is known for her extraordinary ability to engage guests of all dispositions.

Martin Scorsese has made so many terrific crime pictures that you would be forgiven for doubting whether he had another one in him. The great surprise of his haunting and elegiac new movie, The Irishman, is that it doesn't play like a retread so much as a reckoning.

Editor's note: This interview contains a racial slur.

Sam Esmail, the creator, lead writer and director of the TV series Mr. Robot, has always identified with computer programming and hacker culture — in part because of his experiences with social anxiety.

In college, he shied away from parties and instead took refuge in the computer lab. It felt safer to talk to people online than in person, Esmail says. But working in the computer lab sometimes created problems; at one point, he was put on academic probation for hacking.

Spy stories vary hugely in their respect for the real world. James Bond movies are timelessly cartoonish, with villains who make their headquarters inside disused volcanoes.

Ever since childhood, author Kevin Wilson has lived with disturbing images that flash through his mind without warning.

"I've always had this kind of agitation and looping thoughts and small tics," he says. "Falling off of tall buildings, getting stabbed, catching on fire — they were these just quick, kind of violent bursts in my head."

Not that Wilson would ever harm anyone else — the harm in these quick, intrusive thoughts was strictly internal. The images fed off of his own anxiety, and left him feeling terrified.

Dan Piepenbring was a 29-year-old editor of the literary magazine The Paris Review in 2016 when he met Prince for the first time — and agreed to help the musical icon pen a memoir. It was the assignment of a lifetime for a writer who had not yet published a book, but Prince wanted someone he could open up to — and Piepenbring fit the bill.

Pages