Fresh Air

Terry Gross

Opening the window on contemporary arts and issues with guests from worlds as diverse as literature and economics.

Composer ID: 
5187f698e1c8154c40356c79|5187f693e1c8154c40356c69

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Music Reviews
1:50 pm
Thu August 15, 2013

A Forgotten Quartet, Reissued And Reevaluated

A new collection of Brahms and Mozart recordings by the Stuyvesant Quartet from 1947 conveys a kind of inward grace.
Jay Shulman Courtesy of the artist

A movie last year called A Late Quartet told the traumatic story of what happens when a famous string quartet has to change personnel. But, in fact, most string quartets — like symphony orchestras, only more conspicuously — continually change players, because players retire, or die, or get more lucrative offers.

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Book Reviews
1:41 pm
Thu August 15, 2013

A Gossipy, Nostalgic History Of A Publishing 'Hothouse'

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu August 15, 2013 3:28 pm

In the world of book publishing, ravaged though it may be, the name Farrar, Straus & Giroux still bespeaks literary quality. It's a publishing house that boasts a roll call of 25 Nobel Prize winners and heavyweights like Susan Sontag, Carlos Fuentes, Joan Didion, Philip Roth and Jonathan Franzen. A lot of writers, past and present, have turned down higher advances for their books from other publishing houses for the honor of being an FSG author.

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Author Interviews
1:41 pm
Thu August 15, 2013

Of Neurons And Memories: Inside The 'Secret World Of Sleep'

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu August 15, 2013 2:13 pm

What happens in our brains while we're asleep? That's one question neuroscientist Penelope Lewis is trying to answer. She directs the Sleep and Memory Lab at the University of Manchester in England. Her new book is The Secret World of Sleep: The Surprising Science of the Mind at Rest.

Lewis joins Fresh Air's Terry Gross to talk about how sleep affects memory, and how REM sleep can affect depression.


Interview Highlights

On how sleep makes memory stronger

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Author Interviews
3:39 pm
Wed August 14, 2013

Shipping: The 'Invisible Industry' That Clothes And Feeds You

Ninety percent of what we wear, eat and consume is carried by container ships like this one at the state-run Jaya Container Terminal of Sri Lanka's port of Colombo.
Lakruwan Wanniarachchi AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed August 14, 2013 4:38 pm

Imagine a ship carrying goods in containers that, if lined up, would stretch around 11,000 miles long, or nearly halfway around the planet. Rose George spent several weeks aboard one such ship as research for her new book, Ninety Percent of Everything: Inside Shipping, the Invisible Industry That Puts Clothes on Your Back, Gas in Your Car and Food on Your Plate.

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Asia
12:28 pm
Wed August 14, 2013

On Mount Everest, Sherpa Guides Bear The Brunt Of The Danger

Lhamu Chhiki's husband, Chhewang Nima, summited Mount Everest 19 times. He died while leading a private expedition on Mount Baruntse in 2010.
Courtesy of Grayson Schaffer

Originally published on Tue August 20, 2013 1:46 pm

The Sherpa people of Nepal have become famous for guiding mountain climbers up some of the world's highest peaks, especially Mount Everest. And while Sherpa guides earn relatively good pay for their work, they and their families pay a price in death and injury. According to Grayson Schaffer, a senior editor and writer for Outside magazine, a Sherpa working above Everest's base camp is nearly 10 times more likely to die than a commercial fisherman, the most dangerous, nonmilitary occupation in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Music Reviews
12:39 pm
Tue August 13, 2013

Valerie June Wants To Be On Your Mind

Valerie June.
Susan Riddle Duke Photography Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue August 13, 2013 1:32 pm

Valerie June wants to be on your mind; to get inside your head. She writes or co-writes songs that mix blues, gospel, folk and soul, and which describe emotional isolation, financial deprivation and insecurity about her place in the world. She's unafraid to proclaim her neediness — perhaps because, possessed of a powerful voice, she knows that her vulnerability isn't likely to come off as passive or self-pitying on Pushin' Against a Stone.

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Television
12:39 pm
Tue August 13, 2013

'Orange' Creator Jenji Kohan: 'Piper Was My Trojan Horse'

Jenji Kohan, seen here on the set of Orange Is the New Black, began her writing career on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.
Ursula Coyote Netflix

Originally published on Tue August 13, 2013 1:32 pm

A lot of people have been binge-watching the new Netflix series Orange Is the New Black, which is set in a minimum security women's prison.

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Book Reviews
12:43 pm
Mon August 12, 2013

Addictive 'Infatuations' Takes A Metaphysical Look At Crime

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon August 12, 2013 1:48 pm

If you're like me, you probably feel exhausted just thinking about how much cultural stuff is out there. A friend recently told me he was reading an acclaimed Hungarian novelist whose books I've never opened. "Please tell me he stinks," I begged, "so I don't have to read him."

"Actually, he's great," came the reply, and I groaned. This was something I didn't want to know.

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Author Interviews
12:42 pm
Mon August 12, 2013

Behind 'The New Black': The Real Piper's Prison Story

Taylor Schilling plays Piper in Netflix's Orange Is the New Black, which is based on Piper Kerman's memoir of her year in prison.
Jessica Miglio Netflix

Originally published on Fri August 16, 2013 11:18 am

Piper Kerman was a 24-year-old Smith College graduate in 1993, when she flew to Belgium with a suitcase of money intended for a West African drug lord.

This misguided adventure started when she began a romantic relationship with a woman who was part of what Kerman describes as a "clique of impossibly stylish and cool lesbians in their mid-30s." That woman was involved in a drug-smuggling ring, and got Kerman involved, too, though Kerman left that life after several months.

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Music Reviews
11:37 am
Mon August 12, 2013

'South Texas' Collects Producer's Checkered Career

Record producer Huey Meaux wound up in jail twice, but he sure had a knack for finding talent in unlikely places. Some of those songs are included on South Texas Rhythm 'n' Soul Revue.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon August 12, 2013 12:42 pm

Record producer Huey P. Meaux's career was, to put it mildly, a checkered one. It had two chapters, each of which ended with him in prison. But both times, he discovered some amazing Texas and Louisiana artists who made great music. Researchers are still piecing together the first half of the story, which saw hundreds of singles released on labels like Jet Stream, Tear Drop, Jet, Pacemaker and Eric. Now some of those songs have been collected on a compilation called South Texas Rhythm 'n' Soul Revue.

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