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Fresh Air with Terry Gross, the Peabody Award-winning weekday magazine of contemporary arts and issues, is one of public radio's most popular programs. Each week, nearly 4.5 million people listen to the show's intimate conversations broadcast on more than 450 National Public Radio (NPR) stations across the country, as well as in Europe on the World Radio Network.

Though Fresh Air has been categorized as a "talk show," it hardly fits the mold. Its 1994 Peabody Award citation credits Fresh Air with "probing questions, revelatory interviews and unusual insights." And a variety of top publications count Gross among the country's leading interviewers. The show gives interviews as much time as needed, and complements them with comments from well-known critics and commentators.

Fresh Air is produced at WHYY-FM in Philadelphia and broadcast nationally by NPR.

Copyright 2019 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

Author Adam Minter remembers two periods of grief after his mother died in 2015: the intense sadness of her death, followed by the challenge of sorting through what he calls "the material legacy of her life."

Over the course of a year, Minter and his sister worked through their mother's possessions until only her beloved china was left. Neither one of them wanted to take the china — but neither could bear to throw it out. Instead, they decided to donate it.

When BJ Miller was a sophomore at Princeton University, he climbed atop a commuter train that had been parked for the night. What began as a lark took a tragic turn when 11,000 volts of electricity suddenly surged through his body.

"There was a big explosion, a big flash of light, and I was thrown ... quite some distance," Miller says. "My body was literally smoking."

My best books of the year list for 2019 is a mix of literary fiction and true crime and memoirs and essays. There are acclaimed authors here, as well as some brand new voices. The only thing that unites all these books is that, in my opinion, they are unputdownable.

Copyright 2019 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Copyright 2019 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

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:

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm Terry Gross.

I didn't grow up watching "Mister Rogers," but I love the new film "A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood," starring Tom Hanks as Fred Rogers. I recorded an interview with the film's director, Marielle Heller. But when we first broadcast it last week, it was preempted on most stations by the impeachment hearings. We like this interview and want you to hear it, so we're playing it again today.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED NPR BROADCAST)

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm Terry Gross. Happy Thanksgiving. We're going to spend the holiday listening to some great music by Prince and hearing about his life.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED NPR BROADCAST)

For actor Edward Norton, a passion for urban planning runs in the family. His grandfather, James Rouse, was an idealistic developer and planner who designed Faneuil Hall in Boston and the Baltimore Inner Harbor.

"He saw opportunity in parts of city centers that had really been essentially relegated to being pockets of true decay," Norton says of his grandfather. "He was a big believer in community and culture and revitalization — as opposed to the wrecking ball."

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm Terry Gross. After Donald Trump was elected but before he was inaugurated, BuzzFeed published a leaked document that became known as the Steele dossier - a series of memos written by former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele suggesting Russia had been cultivating, supporting and assisting Trump and that, according to several sources, Russia had compromising information that could be used to blackmail Trump.

Copyright 2019 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Copyright 2019 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

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:

Copyright 2019 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm David Bianculli, editor of the website TV Worth Watching, sitting in for Terry Gross. Singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen died in 2016 at age 82, weeks after releasing a new album called "You Want It Darker."

Copyright 2019 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Copyright 2019 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Director Marielle Heller remembers tuning into Mister Rogers' Neighborhood as a kid, but it wasn't until she was an adult watching the show with her 3-year-old son that she fully appreciated the host's gentle, direct manner. Watching an episode in which Mister Rogers finds that a pet fish has died, Heller was struck by the way he addressed the audience.

Copyright 2019 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

In 2006, as Russia was preparing to host the G-8 summit in St. Petersburg, its parliament passed a law legalizing extrajudicial killings of accused "extremists" abroad.

"It was an extraordinary moment," BuzzFeed News journalist Heidi Blake says. "Even as Western leaders were sitting around the table with Putin in St. Petersburg, at that very moment, laws were being passed ... that enabled enemies of the Russian state to be murdered by Russian state agents on foreign soil with absolute impunity."

British actor Robert Pattinson can't tell you how many times people have said to him: "Hey man ... you know what you'd be great at playing? An English prince."

But that's not really his thing.

"I think when you first start, if you're tall and English and have kind of floppy hair, in England that is the box that you're put in," he says. "But I like movies because of Pacino, basically. I didn't grow up watching period dramas and being like, 'That's what I want to do!' "

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:

Copyright 2019 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm David Bianculli, editor of the website TV Worth Watching, sitting in for Terry Gross. On Sunday Netflix presents the new season of "The Crown," which tells the story of Queen Elizabeth II. In the first two seasons, the young woman who became queen was played wonderfully by Claire Foy. For this new third season, which covers the years 1964 to 1977, the queen is played by Olivia Colman, who takes over the role seamlessly and instantly - really, in seconds - and before even showing the front of her head.

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