Kwame Alexander's new book, Why Fathers Cry At Night, started as a book of love poems, but ended up being a book of essays and poems about falling in love, the end of his two marriages, raising two children and one of them leaving home and cutting ties. We'll talk about that, and about being a son of a Baptist minister. Alexander is best known for his children's books, including The Undefeated and the Newberry Medal-winning book The Crossover, which has been adapted into a Disney+ series, on which he's a writer and executive producer.
More episodes from "Fresh Air"
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45:58Music producer and DJ Jennifer Lee — aka TOKiMONSTA — underwent two brain surgeries in 2016 that temporarily stripped her of her ability to understand words or music. She spoke with Tonya Mosley about that life-altering experience and being in the male-dominated field of electronic music. Also, Kevin Whitehead shares an appreciation of tenor saxophonist Von Freeman.
Best Of: Leslie Jones / Kerry Washington
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48:40In her new memoir, comedian Leslie Jones writes about being on Saturday Night Live – and the years she spent working odd jobs to get by before she was famous. Ken Tucker reviews Allison Russell's new album, The Returner. Award-winning actor, producer, and activist Kerry Washington also has a new memoir. In Thicker Than Water, she examines her life, career and the discovery of a secret about her origins that her parents revealed to her just a few years ago.
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Remembering Actor David McCallum / Allen Ginsberg
46:59Scottish actor David McCallum played an eccentric medical examiner on the CBS crime series NCIS, but he found fame nearly 60 years ago in his role as Russian agent Illya Kuryakin on the TV series The Man from U.N.C.L.E. He died Sept. 25 at age 90. Also, we feature our interview with Allen Ginsberg. A tribute album of musical interpretations of his poems will be released next week. Film critic Justin Chang reviews the new futuristic action thriller The Creator.
Inside The Secretive AI Company That Knows Your Face
43:38The secretive company Clearview AI scans unidentified faces, and finds a match in their database of billions of photos. The pics are scraped from websites and apps, including Google, Facebook, and LinkedIn, without the companies' permission. NYT tech reporter Kashmir Hill found that once your face is identified for a client, Clearview can quickly connect the client to a lot of information about you. Chances are your face is in Clearview's database, without your knowledge or permission. Clearview's clients include many police departments and some government agencies. Hill says it could spell the end of privacy. Her new book is Your Face Belongs To Us.
How Roads & Highways Affect Wildlife
46:23Environmental journalist Ben Goldfarb says cars are killing animals, while highways cut off them off from their food sources and migration paths. His new book about road ecology is Crossings.Maureen Corrigan reviews C Pam Zhang's Land of Milk and Honey.
Kerry Washington's Self-Discovery
46:17Award-winning actor and producer Kerry Washington was an adult when she learned that she had been conceived via artificial insemination and the man she considered her father was not her biological dad. Her new memoir about her journey of self-discovery is Thicker than Water. Also, jazz critic Kevin Whitehead celebrates Sam Rivers on what would've been his 100th birthday.
Best Of: Casting Dir. Allison Jones / The Nazi's Jazz Propaganda
48:23Casting director Allison Jones is considered one of the greatest comedy casting directors of our time. Her credits include films and TV shows like Freaks and Geeks, The Office, Veep, Curb Your Enthusiasm, The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Bridesmaids, and now Barbie. She spoke with Terry Gross about some of these projects. Maureen Corrigan reviews Lauren Groff's new novel, The Vaster Wilds. Also, NPR's Scott Simon gives the history of why jazz was banned in Hitler's Germany, and how it was repurposed as propaganda on shortwave radio. His new audiobook is Swingtime for Hitler.
44:11Leslie Jones says performing stand-up for the first time as a freshman in college felt like putting on a shirt that fit perfectly: "It was just so natural." She talks with Tonya Mosley about the best advice she got, her bittersweet time at SNL, and why she loves physical comedy. Her memoir is Leslie F*cking Jones.Also, Maureen Corrigan reviews Lauren Groff's new novel, The Vaster Wilds.