Fresh Air

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A weekday magazine of contemporary arts and issues. Each week nearly two million people tune into the show's intimate conversations.

The best scene in Disney's incredibly photo-realistic remake of The Lion King features a computer-generated beetle rolling a ball of computer-generated dung across a computer-generated African landscape. It might sound mundane, but this particular ball of dung is carrying a tuft of fur from the runaway lion Simba, and its eventual discovery will renew hope that the rightful king of the savanna is alive and well. It's a funny, touching reminder that in the circle of life, every little creature and every lump of waste has an important role to play.

Trump said he would hire 5,000 new border patrol agents, but has fallen short of that promise. Garrett Graff discusses the leadership vacuum that's plagued the agency and worsened the border crisis.

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TERRY GROSS, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. Former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens died yesterday at age 99. We're going to listen back to our interview with Stevens.

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TERRY GROSS, HOST:

It's pretty rare for a writer to produce a novel that wins the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award and, then, a scant three years later, bring out another novel that's even more extraordinary. But, that's what Colson Whitehead has done in following up his 2016 novel, The Underground Railroad, with The Nickel Boys.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

And if that enthusiastic review got you interested in the novel, stick around because we're going to hear from the author. FRESH AIR's Dave Davies just recorded this interview with Colson Whitehead.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. "Jazz From Detroit" is the title of a new book by journalist and critic Mark Stryker, who spent a couple of decades covering jazz and its people in that city. Our jazz critic Kevin Whitehead says Stryker looks at Detroiters who made their mark in the larger world and a few who stayed behind. Here's Kevin's review.

(SOUNDBITE OF JAMES CARTER'S "FREE AND EASY")

KEVIN WHITEHEAD, BYLINE: Saxophonist James Carter at Baker's Keyboard Lounge in Detroit in 2001.

When TV critic Emily Nussbaum was growing up in the '70s, she says television wasn't something to be analyzed, criticized and picked apart.

"Even people who loved to watch TV would put it down," she recalls. "It was considered, at best, a kind of delicious-but-bad-for-you treat, and, at worst, more like chain-smoking, like something you did by yourself that messed up your brain."

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:

Yiddish 'Fiddler On The Roof' Is A 'Dream Come True' For Lead Actor: A new Yiddish language production of the musical is currently running off-Broadway. Steven Skybell, who plays Tevye, and Joel Grey, who directs the show, explain why the play still resonates.

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DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

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