Expect to be good for nothing for a long time after you read Ron Rash. His writing is powerful, stripped down and very still: It takes you to a land apart, psychologically and geographically, since his fiction is set in Appalachia.
Originally published on Fri December 5, 2014 9:34 am
The new film Inherent Vice satirizes overcomplicated detective-story plots by having an especially overcomplicated plot of its own. It's a Paul Thomas Anderson adaptation of Thomas Pynchon's 2009 novel.
"It's so dense," co-star Josh Brolin tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "I mean, Pynchon will be following some linear structure, and then suddenly he'll take a big bong hit and go off on some tangent that still, you realize, eventually comes around and actually is connected in various ways."
Originally published on Thu December 4, 2014 4:33 pm
Fresh Air jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews three jazz books out this holiday seasonβa singer's biography, a pianist's autobiography, and a fat coffee table book. Whitehead says they're all worth a look, though he has a couple of quibbles β and also a confession.
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Originally published on Wed December 3, 2014 8:32 am
Many girls are beginning puberty at an early age, developing breasts sooner than girls of previous generations. But the physical changes don't mean the modern girls' emotional and intellectual development is keeping pace.
Two doctors have written a book called The New Puberty that looks at the percentage of girls who are going through early puberty, the environmental, biological and socioeconomic factors that influence when puberty begins, and whether early puberty is linked with an increased risk of breast cancer.
Originally published on Tue December 2, 2014 1:32 pm
British mystery author P.D. James wrote 18 crime novels β many with shocking, horrible endings. But, in a personal twist, James admitted to Fresh Air in 1987 that she has a deep fear of violence β and writing helped her exorcise it.
"I'm frightened of violence; I dislike violence," she told Terry Gross. "I do love good order, good social order, good psychological order. I don't like messy lives."
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:
The Rise And Fall Of Comedian Bob Hope: Hope was a comedy trailblazer, but in his twilight years he alienated younger audiences with his political views. "He had, unfortunately, stuck around too long," says Hope biographer Richard Zoglin.