Fresh Air

  • Hosted by Terry Gross

Open a window to contemporary arts and issues with people from worlds as diverse as literature and economics. Host Terry Gross is a veteran public radio interviewer known for her extraordinary ability to engage guests of all dispositions.

Get a breath of Fresh Air, weekdays on 89.9 WSUF, 103.3 WQQQ and WSHU AM at noon, and on 1340 WYBC at 3 p.m. If you're an evening listener, catch Fresh Air at 9 p.m. on WSUF and WQQQ.

Pamela Erens' new novel, Eleven Hours, is what traditionally would be called a "small story." It's less than 200 pages, features only two main characters and focuses primarily on events that take place over the span of, well, 11 hours. It's also a novel about the ultimate female adventure of childbirth.

The book is fierce and vivid in its depiction of the exhaustion of the spirit and the rending of the flesh during childbirth. So much so, that it makes that boy adventure aboard Herman Melville's Pequod almost seem like a Carnival cruise.

Kenya Barris, creator and showrunner of the ABC comedy series Black-ish, wasn't raised in the same privileged world as his own children. Instead, he grew up in a poor neighborhood in Los Angeles. But after his father was injured on the job, Barris' family received money through a legal settlement and they were able to move to a different part of town.

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Every movie is set somewhere, yet most movies feel as if they're happening nowhere at all. They're set in a Manhattan so generic that the filming was actually done in Toronto, or in a Paris we only know is Paris because we get a shot of the Eiffel Tower, or in an imaginary small town from some unnamed state whose purpose is to be every small town. Such settings have no presence, no weight, no humidity, no purpose — they're background.

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