‘Widower’s Notebook’ Draws A Portrait Of Grief And Guilt

Five years ago, Jonathan Santlofer’s wife died suddenly, throwing him into a “fugue state” of grief. Sketching her portrait from old photographs has helped him stay close to her. His memoir is ‘The Widower’s Notebook.’

Also, book critic Maureen Corrigan reviews the novel ‘Come With Me’ by Helen Schulman, about regrets and risk-taking in the Internet age.

Trauma Surgeon Takes On The NRA

After the NRA tweeted that “self-important anti-gun doctors” should “stay in their lane,” trauma surgeon Dr. Joseph Sakran started #ThisIsOurLane, mobilizing doctors around the issue of gun safety. Sakran became a surgeon after being shot in the throat when he was 17.

Also, critic John Powers reviews ‘Insurrecto’ by Gina Apostol. The novel is about two women, a Filipina translator and an American filmmaker on a road trip in the Philippines.

Inside Nancy Pelosi’s Bid For Speakership

Journalist Robert Draper talks about why Republicans love to attack Pelosi, the challenges she faces from within her own party, and her bid to be speaker of the House. Draper wrote a cover story about Pelosi for the ‘New York Times Magazine.’

Jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews ‘Sophisticated Giant,’ a new biography of the late saxophonist Dexter Gordon.

The ‘Profound’ Power Of The Immune System

Immunologist Daniel Davis says scientists are harnessing the power of the immune system to create new medications to fight cancer, auto-immune conditions and other diseases. He also talks about how the immune system is affected by stress, sleep, and age. Davis’ book is ‘The Beautiful Cure.’

Also, rock critic Ken Tucker shares an appreciation of country artist Lefty Frizzell. The new box set, ‘An Article From Life,’ spans his career.

Best Of: The Coen Brothers / Free Climbing Yosemite’s ‘Dawn Wall’

Filmmakers Joel and Ethan Coen (‘Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?,’ ‘No Country for Old Men’) pay homage to old Westerns with their new film, ‘The Ballad of Buster Scruggs.’ The movie is a collection of six stories that often subvert the expectations of the genre.

Rock climbers Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgeson talk about scaling the 3,000 foot sheer vertical face of Yosemite’s El Capitan that was long thought impossible to ascend. The documentary about their historic climb is ‘The Dawn Wall.’

Jazz Singer Cécile McLorin Salvant

McLorin Salvant grew up in Miami as the child of a Haitian father and a French mother. She first studied classical voice, but turned to jazz because it offered her more range. “I never wanted to sound clean and pretty,” she told Terry Gross in 2015. “In jazz, I felt I could sing these deep, husky lows if I want, and then these really tiny, laser highs if I want, as well.” Her new record is ‘The Window,’ which critic Kevin Whitehead says is “riveting.”

Musicians Robbie Fulks & Linda Gail Lewis

Robbie Fulks and Linda Gail Lewis come from different generations, but both play the old style of country music — her brother is Jerry Lee Lewis. The duo performed for Terry Gross in the ‘Fresh Air’ studio in September, sharing stories and songs from their new album, ‘Wild! Wild! Wild!’

Actor Rami Malek On Becoming Freddie Mercury

Malek sang at the top of his lungs while playing Queen’s iconic lead singer in the new biopic ‘Bohemian Rhapsody.’ Still, he says, “No one can sing like Freddie Mercury.” Malek spoke with Terry Gross about recreating the 1985 Live Aid concert, learning to move like Mercury, and wearing prosthetic teeth. He also talks about playing a withdrawn and socially anxious hacker in the thriller series ‘Mr.Robot,’ and how he got started in acting.

Free Climbing Yosemite’s ‘Dawn Wall’

Rock climbers Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgeson talk about scaling the 3,000 foot sheer vertical face of Yosemite’s El Capitan that was long thought impossible to ascend. The duo discuss sleeping in portaledges — tents suspended more than a thousand feet in the air — and the personal risks and rewards of rock climbing. The new documentary about their historic climb is ‘The Dawn Wall.’

John Powers reviews two new crime dramas based on true stories — the Showtime series ‘Escape at Dannemora,’ starring Patricia Arquette and Benicio del Toro, and the Bravo series ‘Dirty John,’ starring Connie Britton and Eric Bana.

Film critic Justin Chang reviews the costume drama, ‘The Favourite,’ starring Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz.

Filmmakers Joel & Ethan Coen

The Coen brothers (‘Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?,’ ‘No Country for Old Men’) pay homage to old Westerns with their new film, ‘The Ballad of Buster Scruggs.’ The movie is a collection of six stories that often subvert the expectations of the genre.