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.
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.'
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.
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.'
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.'
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.
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.