"I'm Terry Gross and this is Fresh Air . . ."
Now available in paperback--a selection of revealing interviews from the award-winning National Public Radio show
Originating from WHYY-FM in Philadelphia and heard on more than 450 NPR stations, Fresh Air with Terry Gross has become a daily habit with millions of listeners nationwide--a must for anyone hoping to keep up with what's happening in the arts. Over the last twenty years, Terry's guests have included our most significant writers, actors, musicians, comics, and visual artists.
For her first collection, Terry has chosen more than three dozen timeless interviews that prove to be as lively on the page as they were on the radio. Her questions--probing yet sensitive--encourage revelations from figures as diverse as John Updike, Isabella Rossellini, Conan OBrien, Samuel L. Jackson, Johnny Cash, and Nicolas Cage. And in her introduction, the generally self-effacing host of Fresh Air does something she wouldnt dream of doing on the air--she reveals a thing or two about herself.
Conducting a good interview requires exhaustive research, good timing, the ability to steer the interview back on course when it meanders, a knack for close listening and thinking about the next question, flexibility and editing skills. Gross, the polite and generous host of NPR's Fresh Air, is a pro, and here she collects some of her favorite interviews with people in the arts. The result is a wide-ranging and entertaining look into the creative process. With a few exceptions, the interviews are from the show's national broadcast debut year in 1987, but they never seem dated, as many of the guests are still active or well known, and the topics are timeless. Whether she's asking Johnny Cash about the difference between a singer and a song stylist, discussing the role of class in British actor Michael Caine's life or examining the eternal intricacies of the human face with Chuck Close, Gross remains sensitive, engaged and informed. The two notable exceptions are her interviews with cable opinion-slinger Bill O'Reilly and Kiss front man Gene Simmons, whose pugnacity and sexism, respectively, unseat the usually collected host and challenge her to summon interview skills she rarely exercises. Overall, however, this is an often funny and completely fascinating anthology.