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Opening the window on contemporary arts and issues with guests from worlds as diverse as literature and economics.

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Are robots coming for your job? New York Times tech columnist Kevin Roose says companies and governments are increasingly using automation and artificial intelligence to cut costs, transform workplaces and eliminate jobs — and more changes are coming.

"We need to prepare for the possibility that a lot of people are going to fall through the cracks of this technological transformation," Roose says. "It's happened during every technological transformation we've ever had, and it's going to happen this time. And in fact, it already is happening."

Copyright 2021 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVE DAVIES, 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:

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm Dave Davies, in for Terry Gross. The American South in the post-Reconstruction era was a land of broken promises and brutal oppression for African Americans, as white leaders stripped former slaves of many of the civil and voting rights they'd won after the Civil War. But in the 1890s, the port city of Wilmington, N.C., was an exception. It had a thriving Black middle class, a large Black electorate and a local government that included Black aldermen, police officers and magistrates.

I was maybe 12 when I first saw The Third Man, the noir classic set in a post-World War II Vienna bursting with expressionist atmospherics and jaunty amorality. Ever since, I've been drawn to tales set in the wake of historical turmoil. You get juicy stories when individuals — and whole societies — must deal with the guilts, losses and compromises they'd rather not think about.

During the pandemic, Jon Batiste took his music to the streets. This summer, the music director and bandleader for The Late Show with Stephen Colbert performed at marches protesting the killing of George Floyd. Recently he did a pop-up performance at a mass vaccination site in New York.

Copyright 2021 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

A year ago this week, I sent my students off on Spring Break: That was the last time we were physically present in a room together. We returned after break, reconstituted as pixels on a laptop screen, each of us in our own little Zoom frames, Nietzsche's "prison house of self" for the digital age.

When you have a dog or a cat that is in pain and near the end of life, you have the option of putting down your beloved pet. Some people who fear loss of function — mental or physical — would like a similar option for ending their own lives in a safe, peaceful and legal manner.

Journalist Katie Engelhart explores the "right to die" movement in her new book, The Inevitable. Engelhart says individuals seeking death on their own terms sometimes resort to ordering lethal veterinary drugs from Mexico or China.

The Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines are the first vaccines to be activated by mRNA — and would not have been possible without the invention of the gene editing technology known as CRISPR.

Copyright 2021 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 2021 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm Dave Davies, in for Terry Gross. Our guest, James McBride, first became known for his memoir, "The Color Of Water," about growing up in a Brooklyn housing project. He's the son of a white mother and an African American father who died shortly before McBride was born. When McBride was a teenager, he discovered his mother was Jewish, the daughter of an Orthodox rabbi. In 2016, President Obama presented McBride with the National Humanities Medal for, quote, "humanizing the complexities of discussing race in America."

Raya and the Last Dragon is a lovely, moving surprise. Its big selling point is that it's the first Disney animated film to feature Southeast Asian characters, but like so many movies that break ground in terms of representation, it tells a story that's actually woven from reassuringly familiar parts. I didn't mind that in the slightest.

Copyright 2021 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm Terry Gross.

Director Lee Isaac Chung's inspiration for Minari, his semi-autobiographical film about a Korean American father who moves his family to a farm in rural Arkansas, began with a list.

Chung had been struggling to settle on a new project. Inspired by Willa Cather's writing about her Nebraska roots, he decided to look into his own past. So he went to the local library and spent the afternoon writing a list of memories from his own rural upbringing.

This is unbearable.

I wrote that one-sentence review to myself about half-way through reading Klara and the Sun, Kazuo Ishiguro's just published eighth novel.

Lest you think that doesn't sound like much of an enticement, know that I've probably written something like that sentence about every Ishiguro novel I've read. He is the master of slowly deepening our awareness of human failing, fragility and the inevitability of death — all that, even as he deepens our awareness of what temporary magic it is to be alive in the first place.

Copyright 2021 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

If you've read Sarah Pinborough's 2017 novel Behind Her Eyes, you already know what to expect from Netflix's new miniseries adaptation. But if you don't know what to expect, you ought to do everything you can to keep it that way, and come to this series as uninformed as possible. Just promise yourself, in advance, that you'll stay with it, and allow its secrets to slowly reveal themselves. Get to the end — the very end — and I all but guarantee you'll be ready to start watching the whole thing all over again. Immediately.

There are scads of talented spy novelists, but the ones who matter capture something essential about their historical moment. Back in the 1930s and '40s, Eric Ambler nailed the sense of ordinary people being caught up in the machinations of great totalitarian powers. A few decades later, John le Carré caught the personal and moral ambiguities of what John F. Kennedy dubbed the "long twilight struggle" of the Cold War.

The sleight-of-hand master explores themes of identity, honesty and the emotional cost of keeping secrets in the memoir, AMORALMAN. DelGaudio's one-man show In & Of Itself is now available on Hulu.

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:

The film One Night in Miami imagines a night in 1964 where Cooke, Clay, Malcolm X and Jim Brown meet. We listen back to interviews with biographers Peter Guralnick, Jonathan Eig and Alex Haley.

Though Andra Day plays the jazz legend with conviction, The United States vs. Billie Holiday fictionalizes the particulars of Holiday's life, where the real story is dramatic enough.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm Terry Gross. Some of the most viewed, most remarkable and revealing video of the January 6 Capitol riot was shot inside the Senate chamber by my guest, Luke Mogelson. Some of his video was used as evidence by House managers prosecuting Donald Trump in his second impeachment trial.

I'm obsessed with tales of obsession. Chances are, you are too, judging by the unflagging popularity of true crime stories presented in podcasts, documentaries, movies and books.

What sets Ellen McGarrahan's just-published true crime book, Two Truths and a Lie, above so many others I've read is the moral gravity of her presence on the page and the hollow-voiced lyricism of her writing style.

National Book Award-winning author Tim O'Brien is best known for his stories about the Vietnam War, including the 1990 novel, The Things They Carried. But he says he'd give up every book he's written if it meant more time on earth with his two young sons.

Now 74, O'Brien didn't become a father until his late 50s. He says he was initially worried that having children would curtail his ability to write.

Copyright 2021 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm Terry Gross.

The history of film is inseparable from immigration. Newcomers to America didn't merely pack the nickelodeons and movie palaces, they invented Hollywood.

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