Fresh Air

Weekdays, Noon-1pm

An award-winning show and one of public radio's most iconic programs, Fresh Air is a weekday "talk show" that hardly fits the mold. The show is produced by WHYY.

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.

Billionaire filmmaker Howard Hughes has long been regarded as one of Hollywood's most eccentric and prolific playboys. A few years back, writer and film critic Karina Longworth stumbled onto an online message board, listing women Hughes had had sexual relationships with — just a list of names, no other information.

"In each of these names there's a whole life and a whole story," says Longworth, who hosts the film podcast You Must Remember This.

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

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

You may be shocked by what's living in your home — the bacteria, the fungi, viruses, parasites and insects. Probably many more organisms than you imagined.

"Every surface; every bit of air; every bit of water in your home is alive," says Rob Dunn, a professor of applied ecology at North Carolina State University in Raleigh. "The average house has thousands of species."

Take Meg Wolitzer's novel (now also a film) called The Wife, about a brazen case of literary ghostwriting, and cross it with Patricia Highsmith's classic Ripley stories, about a suave psychopath, and you've got something of the crooked charisma of John Boyne's new novel, A Ladder to the Sky.

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:

'Why Religion?' Asks 'How Hearts Can Heal' After Tragedy: Religion scholar Elaine Pagels lost her young son to terminal illness and her husband a year later in an accident. Her new book combines memoir and biblical scholarship to reflect on loss and faith.

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

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm David Bianculli in for Terry Gross.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "ANOTHER ONE BITES THE DUST")

Joel and Ethan Coen have an erratic body of work but a remarkably consistent worldview. So it's no surprise that their six-part Western anthology, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, feels like both an entirely coherent vision and something of a mixed bag.

In 2015, Saudi Arabia initiated a bombing campaign against its southern neighbor Yemen in what was essentially a proxy war — the Saudis backed a government that had been forced out of the capital by the Houthis, a group allied with Iran.

The Obama administration backed the Saudis with targeting intelligence and logistical help. The assumption, says New York Times journalist Robert Worth, was that the war wouldn't be "too damaging" or last too long. That assumption turned out to be wrong on both counts.

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

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

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

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

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