925 episodes

Fresh Air

NPR Arts
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May 13, 2021

Unlocking The Mysteries Of Endometriosis

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It’s estimated that one in 10 women experience endometriosis during their reproductive years, a condition where cells from the uterine lining go rogue, move to other organs and grow there, leading to terrible pain. Many women who have the disorder struggle to be properly diagnosed. Dr. Linda Griffith spent years in debilitating pain before she was finally diagnosed. “I was told it was normal. I was told that I was under stress … [that] I was rejecting my femininity,” she says. In 2009, she co-founded the MIT Center for Gynepathology Research, where she studies the disorder. We talk about “period privilege,” why she kept her condition a secret for so long, and treatments on the horizon.

Also, David Bianculli reviews the HBO Max series ‘Hacks’ starring Jean Smart.

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May 12, 2021

Actor Jean Smart

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Smart’s breakout role was on the ’80s sitcom ‘Designing Women.’ She’s had recent great roles as the head of a crime family on ‘Fargo’ and as an FBI agent on ‘Watchmen.’ Now she co-stars in the HBO series ‘Mare of Easttown’ and stars in HBO Max comedy ‘Hacks,’ as a veteran comic forced to update her act. Smart talks about meeting her late husband, learning the Delaware County accent for ‘Mare of Easttown’ and the ‘Fraiser’ line fans quote back to her.

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The son of a Jewish father and a Guatemalan mother, Goldman grew up mostly in working class suburbs of Boston. His new novel, ‘Monkey Boy,’ draws on his own experiences, including being physically abused by his dad. “I wanted to go back and look at some very difficult years of my childhood and adolescence,” Goldman says.

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Barry Jenkins says filming his new series about an enslaved girl who escapes from a plantation was the most difficult project of his career — and one that made him feel closer to his own ancestors. “It was incredibly difficult, partly because we were standing in places where … these atrocities had occurred,” he says. Jenkins directed ‘Moonlight,’ which won the 2017 Oscar for Best Picture, as well as the 2018 adaptation of James Baldwin’s novel, ‘If Beale Street Could Talk.’ We talk about depicting the brutality of slavery onscreen, his own family history, and why he wanted to become a filmmaker.

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As a pregnant teenager, Nicole Lynn Lewis felt ashamed. Now she knows many pregnant teens share the problems she had — including an abusive boyfriend, and being temporarily homeless. She says the odds against pregnant teens going to college and having a career are even greater, if you’re Black, like she is. We talk about her new memoir, ‘Pregnant Girl.’

Also, we hear from Alison Bechdel. Her graphic memoir ‘Fun Home,’ about coming out and learning her father had secret gay affairs, was adapted into a Tony Award-winning musical. Her new graphic memoir, ‘The Secret to Superhuman Strength,’ is about her obsession with exercise and the issues that have fed that obsession.

And, jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews a new Louis Armstrong box set.

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We celebrate Mother’s Day with stories of mom from past interviews with ‘Daily Show’ host Trevor Noah, Martin Scorsese and filmmaker Albert Brooks. And Lorna Luft remembers her mother, Judy Garland.

Also, David Bianculli reviews ‘Attenborough’s Journey,’ a BBC America special that salutes the nature broadcaster.

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There is a 30-year gap in the life expectancy of some Black and white Chicagoans. Journalist Linda Villarosa talks about the link between racism and health outcomes, and tells her own family’s story.

Also, we remember rock historian Ed Ward, who died this week.

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Bechdel’s new graphic memoir is about her lifelong obsession with exercise. She says she has a “predisposition of being extremely self-conscious and very caught up in my head” — and exercise helps. Bechdel’s previous graphic memoir, ‘Fun Home,’ was about coming out at age 19, and discovering her father had a secret gay life. It was adapted into a Tony Award-winning Broadway show.

Also, Justin Chang reviews ‘The Disciple,’ a film about a man from Mumbai who aspires to be a great classical musician.

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Total: 5
Kellie Harper
Dec 26, 2019

Nice job! It was really cool story!

Doron Tamari
Dec 19, 2019

Leah Weiss
Dec 16, 2019

Alan Ragus
Dec 12, 2019

Michael Goland
Dec 09, 2019

The guest are awesome and diverse. Even if you haven't listened in a while, you can always go back through their catalog of episodes and find a good interview.

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.