Last updated on May 15, 2020 at 7:56 p.m.
I have been planning to write a piece about Terry Gross for years Fresh air Interview show on American National Public Radio. About as long as I said to friends, “Terry Gross should get some Pulitzer Prize!”
What finally got me typing today was this: a few months ago, my wife and I watched the 15 available seasons of finished Grey’s anatomy. We knew that we could overcome the “empty nest syndrome” and one New TV drama family.
We soon discovered The wonderful woman Maisel. Unfortunately, only three seasons are anticipated. We came to another abrupt end this week!
We are very special because I think everyone is in their own way. The series has to grab both of us. We just hadn’t received any tips that we thought could work.
When I was doing voluntary delivery work this morning and taking food to a pantry 32 kilometers away, I clicked on a Fresh air Podcast on my phone.
An Indian-American actress named Mindy Kaling spoke to Terry about her current Netflix series. I have never. The series is loosely based on Kaling’s teenage years and deals with the challenges and adventures of an Indian-American high school girl in Los Angeles.
Barbara and I loved the short-lived high school series Freaks and geeks. In fact, it’s the only one we’ve seen twice over the years. Listen to the living Fresh air In an interview with Kaling, I felt we had a new winner.
But I’m just as likely to get new posts on an arcane aspect of the Trump administration’s Shenanigans, or to hear Leonard Cohen’s son Adam praise his recently deceased father, or – memorable, I suppose because it was so unusual – to hear an author describe his spelunking (Cave) in the underground world of actively used and long abandoned tunnels under the streets of New York City.
Incomparable technology and a lively voice
I remember the day I heard the name of the show for the first time in the mid 90s. I drove from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, where I was living, to Wilmington, North Carolina – a journey of over an hour – to visit a friend. I don’t remember the actual content of the interview that day, just that the name of the show seemed perfect and positive broadcast Vitality when Terry said it.
Mention a celebrated author, musician, or outstanding practitioner in every creative field, from fashion design to filmmaking to running a restaurant, and there’s a good chance he or she will have an interview online Fresh air Archives that are all online by the way. When a known topic dies, Terry usually repeats it. I don’t know who would compare in previous generations, but for our time I see them as the one Interviewer of the record.
Terry has a rotating crew of employees, each with expertise in a specific area. After the main interview, one or two of them usually add a short feature. David Bianculli reports on TV topics; Maureen Corrigan on books; John Powers, pop culture; and Justin Chang, film, to name a few. Geoff Nunberg, linguist and author of the book The way we talk nowwas an interesting contributor who is still performed, but whose pieces I haven’t heard in a while.
Someone recently asked me to give more details about Terry’s interview style and the unusual “liveliness” of her voice. I can say that about their way: Terry is very natural. She asks what curiosity could inspire “Everywoman” to ask. And she will continue to pursue questions. Not only does she hold back to be “nice”, she somehow manages to dive into very intimate areas in a way that almost always leads to an equally open and intimate response. In very, very rare cases, of course, an interview topic got up and left in the middle of the show.
Terry’s voice is a different story. I can only answer that it is a kind of miracle. You just have to listen.
The Fresh air The procurement of prompt respondents by the employees is another big advantage for the show. Just today, during my walk, I listened to two valuable contributions: Terry’s conversation with Terry on May 11th New York Times MagazineEmily Bazelon on Covid-19, Voter Safety and the 2020 election and her interview with author John Barry on May 14th about his book on the 1918 pandemic. I returned home with better muscle tone and new perspective on both topics.
Terry must now approach 70. I don’t know if she has any plans to retire. My impression is that she delegates more important interviews to her deputy Dave Davies these days.
I am glad that I was able to say a few words in praise of her incomparable technique and her unique voice. It has enriched the lives of millions of us so much that the title of this piece is hardly exaggerated.
(Full disclosure: Barbara and I have seen an episode of I have never the night after I wrote this article. Although I’m thrilled with this interview, none of us really felt that the show itself was for us.)
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