Fresh Air
Fresh Air

In 'While We're Young,' The Border Between Ridicule And Sympathy Is Thin

Noah Baumbach's new comedy is about a couple in their 40s who befriend 20-something hipsters and go wild. It gets off to a fun start, but two-thirds of the way through takes a surprising turn.

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An Oncologist's 'Biography Of Cancer' Adapted Into A Documentary

In The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer, Siddhartha Mukherjee chronicled how our understanding of cancer has evolved. Starting Monday, Ken Burns' three-part documentary will air on PBS.

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Courtney Barnett Makes Ennui Vivid On Debut Album

Barnett just released her first full album called Sometimes I Sit and Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit. Critic Ken Tucker says she somehow manages to infuse with a freshness rare in any songwriter.

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'Justified' Creator Aims To Stay True To The Late Writer Elmore Leonard

The FX series, now in its final season, is based on Leonard's novella Fire in the Hole. Showrunner Graham Yost says, "I look at this show as Elmore Leonard's show, and we're all in service of him."

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Journalist Says Ted Cruz's Message Is Clear That 'Compromise Is For Losers'

When Cruz announced his presidency, he said: "It's time to reclaim the constitution." The New Yorker's Jeffrey Toobin discusses the strict legal philosophy that has shaped Cruz's political agenda.

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Do You Believe In Ghosts? You Might After Reading This Book

Sante Fe's most famous ghost is Hannah Nordhaus' great-great-grandmother. Her new book, American Ghost, is mix of memoir, cultural history, genealogical detective story and paranormal investigation.

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'American Crime': A Series Packed With 'Emotional Honesty' About Race

The show revolves around a murder case in which nearly all the characters are part victim and part aggressor. Creator John Ridley and actor Benito Martinez explain.

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James Corden Hits Late-Night TV With His Own Skill Set And Mindset

The Late Late Show with James Corden fills the post-David Letterman time slot on CBS. TV critic David Bianculli says that based on first impressions, Corden will "settle in nicely."

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Former Orca Trainer For SeaWorld Condemns Its Practices

John Hargrove says he left SeaWorld after seeing "devastating effects of captivity" on orcas. His new book is Beneath The Surface. SeaWorld's Christopher Dold says such criticism is "unfounded."

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Fresh Air Weekend: Daniel Genis, 'Seymour' Documentary And Norman Blake

Genis, who served 10 years in prison for armed robbery, writes about prison life; John Powers reviews Seymour: An Introduction; Bluegrass musician Norman Blake releases an album of original songs.

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In 'Redeployment,' Former Marine Explores The Challenges Of Coming Home

Phil Klay served in Iraq from January 2007 to February 2008. He recently won a National Book Critics Circle award for his collection of short stories. Originally broadcast Nov. 25, 2014.

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Fresh Air Remembers Blues And Jazz Historian Samuel Charters

Charters helped ignite the blues revival of the '50s and '60s. He made field recordings of forgotten and previously undiscovered performers. He also wrote two books. He died Wednesday; he was 85.

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'Seymour': A Loving Portrait Of An Acclaimed Classical Pianist

Seymour: An Introduction is an inspiring new documentary by the actor Ethan Hawke. It's about Seymour Bernstein, who quit a successful concert career at the age of 50 to become a piano teacher.

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Bluegrass Musician Norman Blake Releases An Album Of Original Songs

Blake has performed for more than 60 years. He was in Johnny Cash's band and played on Bob Dylan's Nashville Skyline album. Now 77, his new album is called Wood, Wire and Words.

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'A Little Life': An Unforgettable Novel About The Grace Of Friendship

In Hanya Yanagihara's deeply moving novel, college friends rise, lose their bearings, fall in love, squabble and wrestle with life's tragedies in New York City.

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Saxophonist Tony Malaby's New Quartet Brings Out His Rowdy Side

Malaby has merged his two trios — with a cello and a tuba — into a quartet called Tubacello. Their new album is Scorpion Eater. Jazz critic Kevin Whitehead says he hopes to hear from them again.

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