Fresh Air

Weekdays at 3 pm

The Peabody Award-winning weekday magazine of contemporary arts and issues, is one of public radio's most popular programs. The one-hour program features Terry Gross' in-depth interviews with prominent cultural and entertainment figures, as well as distinguished experts on current affairs and news. 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.

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TERRY GROSS, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm Terry Gross. It's tax time in two ways. While those of us who are last-minute folks are either trying to make sense of the often incomprehensible tax forms or paying someone else to do it for us, the Trump administration is trying to move forward on the president's promise to overhaul the tax system. So the timing is perfect for my guest T. R. Reid's new book, "A Fine Mess." The mess he refers to is our bizarrely complicated tax code.

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:

In 'Monsters,' Graphic Novelist Emil Ferris Embraces The Darkness Within: After West Nile virus left her paralyzed, the Chicago illustrator had to relearn how to draw. She says that experience was key to the publication of My Favorite Thing Is Monsters.

Copyright 2017 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

Chicago illustrator Emil Ferris has always be fascinated by monsters. As a kid, she would watch werewolf movies and find herself sympathizing with the wolf. Now 55, she's recently published her first graphic novel, My Favorite Thing Is Monsters.

"I always felt like [monsters] were kind of heroic because they were facing something," Ferris tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "Becoming a monster sometimes isn't a choice that you have. We're all that; we're all 'the other' in one way or another."

Copyright 2017 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

I was in the mood for reading "lite" this week. It was a nice fleeting thought. Instead, I took a detour because I got curious about Daniel Magariel's slim debut novel, One of the Boys, which is adorned with raves from writers who mostly don't generate such blurbs.

I found myself reading the novel in one still afternoon. A slim, deeply affecting and brutal story, One of the Boys is about the fierce power of a father-son relationship, which, in these pages, all but grinds a young boy to a pulp.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm Terry Gross. Thinking big can lead to breakthroughs or spectacular failures. And the Pentagon agency DARPA has had its share of both. DARPA is the acronym for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. It started off as ARPA before the D was added for defense. Its mission is to create innovative defense technologies. Its projects have ranged from space-based missile shields to cyborg insects. Its innovations have had practical applications in the civilian world, ranging from the Internet to robot vacuum cleaners.

For-profit colleges have faced federal and state investigations in recent years for their aggressive recruiting tactics — accusations that come as no surprise to author Tressie McMillan Cottom.

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:

Comic Pete Holmes Draws On His Early Career And 'Churchy' Roots In 'Crashing': Holmes, who grew up a devout Christian, says he saw himself as a "Good Boy" comic in the early stages of his career. "I was basically picturing [Jesus] in the back of the club."

Copyright 2017 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

Copyright 2017 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "THE DATING GAME")

UNIDENTIFIED ANNOUNCER: From Hollywood, the dating capital of the world, it's "The Dating Game."

(APPLAUSE)

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm Dave Davies in for Terry Gross. If I were to tell you we're going to talk about one of the most important American Catholic leaders of the 20th century, you might not picture a woman whose early years included a Bohemian lifestyle in New York, an abortion and a child born out of wedlock. But Dorothy Day's story is anything but predictable.

A few days ago, one of my students asked me what I was reading, so I told her about Jean Hanff Korelitz's new novel, called The Devil and Webster. My student's eyes got wider as I finished lightly summarizing the plot, and she said, with some concern about Korelitz: "I hope she's ready for all the angry tweets and emails."

Yeah, I think she probably is.

Copyright 2017 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

Coming up in the New York City stand-up scene, Pete Holmes was something of an anomaly, working clean alongside other comics whose jokes were raunchy or sexually explicit. Holmes, who grew up a devout Christian, tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross that he saw himself as the "Good Boy" in the early days of his career.

"I was trying to do the comedy that I thought my parents wanted me to do," Holmes says. "I was basically picturing [Jesus] in the back of the club, and if I could go up and not say the F-word I thought he would love me more."

Copyright 2017 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

As the father of two sons with schizophrenia, author Ron Powers is familiar with the pain and frustration of dealing with a chronic, incurable disease of the brain.

Powers' younger son, Kevin, was a talented musician whose struggles with schizophrenia began at age 17. Just before his 21st birthday, in 2005, Kevin took his own life.

A few years later, Powers' older son, Dean, started experiencing symptoms of schizophrenia and had a psychotic break.

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:

Copyright 2017 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

Copyright 2017 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm David Bianculli, editor of the website TV Worth Watching, sitting in for Terry Gross.

(SOUNDBITE OF "OVERTURE/AND ALL THAT JAZZ")

On Friday, the streaming service Netflix unveils the entire first season — all 13 episodes — of its newest children's series, called Julie's Greenroom. It stars Julie Andrews, who also is its executive producer along with her daughter, children's book author Emma Walton Hamilton.

Copyright 2018 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

One morning in early March, I got into my car and drove to see the Mount Carmel Jewish Cemetery in Northeast Philadelphia. The graveyard is 20 minutes from my house. It's filled with the remains of Jewish Philadelphians, the majority of them from the 19th century.

The new film, Get Out, defies easy classification. Though it has funny moments, it's primarily a horror film, with racial anxiety at its center. Writer-director Jordan Peele tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross that he thinks of Get Out as a "social thriller."

Copyright 2017 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Copyright 2017 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Could smartphones and other screens be decreasing the human attention span? Author Adam Alter thinks so.

"Ten years ago, before the iPad and iPhone were mainstream, the average person had an attention span of about 12 seconds," Alter tells Fresh Air's Dave Davies. Now, he says, "research suggests that there's been a drop from 12 to eight seconds ... shorter than the attention of the average goldfish, which is nine seconds."

You might say that Heretics, a sprawling novel by celebrated Cuban writer Leonardo Padura, has been in the works since the early 1990s. It was back then that Padura began writing a series of books featuring an ex-police detective in Havana named Mario Conde. Funny and philosophical, Conde, like the sharpest of detectives, devotes more time to investigating the mysteries of his own society than he does to investigating crime.

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