November 2, 2013 Astronaut Chris Hadfield brings lessons from space down to Earth in his new book. Ken Tucker says Brandy Clark's 12 Stories album is "modestly amazing." And Philip Shenon's new book explores how a botched investigation fueled Kennedy assassination conspiracy theories.
November 1, 2013 The famed author and illustrator broke the rules of American children's literature in the '50s and '60s, but many Americans have never heard of him. The documentary Far Out Isn't Far Enough — now out on DVD — looks at his life and work. (Originally broadcast July 1, 2013.)
November 1, 2013 Throughout his career, Needham did the kind of stunts that would either end with a spectacular shot ... or an ambulance. On Oct. 25, Needham died of cancer at age 82. We listen back to a 2011 interview, in which he tells the stories behind some of his most daring stunts.
October 31, 2013 In Dallas Buyers Club, Leto plays Rayon, a transgender woman who is living with HIV and a drug habit. Rayon becomes an unlikely friend to Ron Woodroof (Matthew McConaughey), a rodeo cowboy who starts smuggling HIV drugs from Mexico in the 1980s after he's diagnosed as HIV-positive and given just a few weeks to live.
October 31, 2013 Donna Tartt is a writer who takes her time — she's published just one novel per decade since her debut in 1992. But critic Maureen Corrigan says she'd gladly wait another 10 years for a book as extraordinary as Tartt's latest work, The Goldfinch, an "exuberantly plotted triumph."
October 30, 2013 The former International Space Station commander achieved Internet stardom with his in-space rendition of David Bowie's "Space Oddity." After three missions and a total of six months in space he shares what he's learned in a new book, An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth.
October 29, 2013 "In Lou Reed's world, when you were Lou's friend you knew it," his longtime publicist Bill Bentley tells Terry Gross. Fresh Air dedicates an entire hour to the transgressive and transcendent Velvet Underground co-founder, with music and commentary by original Velvets John Cale and Maureen Tucker.
October 28, 2013 It's been 50 years since President John F. Kennedy was assassinated, and polls show that a majority of Americans still believe Kennedy was the victim of a conspiracy, not a lone assassin. Philip Shenon, author of A Cruel and Shocking Act, explores what keeps these conspiracy theories alive.
October 26, 2013 The new book Wheelmen exposes doping culture and the Lance Armstrong conspiracy. Critic Maureen Corrigan says if you're looking to read "lady things," choose Jezebel over Bridget Jones. And director Steve McQueen and actor Chiwetel Ejiofor talk about the new film 12 Years a Slave.
October 25, 2013 On her latest album, Claroscuro, the jazz clarinetist explores influences that range from Louis Armstrong to Brazilian music to that of her native Israel. It's this desire to adapt the instrument to so many musical traditions that has earned Cohen such acclaim. (Originally broadcast on Feb. 6, 2013.)
October 25, 2013 Blue Is the Warmest Color, a coming-of-age movie about the love affair between two young women, has been criticized as pornographic and exploitive. But critic David Edelstein says the film artfully captures the intensity of sexual discovery — and dependency. (Recommended)
October 24, 2013 Yale historian David Blight says Americans like to think of themselves as "the country that freed the slaves," but prefer not to dwell on the sobering history that came first. He says the new film 12 Years a Slave is a rare, effective depiction of slavery in the United States.
October 24, 2013 Director Steve McQueen tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross that he wanted to help fill a "huge hole in the canon of cinema." And actor Chiwetel Ejiofor, whose parents are from Nigeria, says he grew up feeling "a sense of unity amongst African people and people of African heritage."