The Nobel laureate and Pulitzer Prize-winning author of ‘Beloved,’ ‘The Bluest Eye,’ ‘Sula,’ ‘Song of Solomon,’ and other novels, essays and children’s books died Monday at 88. She was known for her precise, poetic prose. Her books drew from the black oral tradition — African American folktales, and the ghost stories she was told as a child. Morrison spoke with Terry Gross in 1987, 1992, and 2015.
In July of 2016, Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich was murdered in his D.C. neighborhood. Police think he was the victim of a robbery gone wrong. But Russian intelligence operatives planted a fake report claiming that Rich was the person who gave DNC emails to Wikileaks, and was then murdered by assassins working for Hillary Clinton. In the podcast ‘Conspiracyland,’ journalist Michael Isikoff explores how the murder of Rich was turned into a conspiracy theory — and how Russian trolls and Fox News fanned the flames.
Also, John Powers reviews the second season of HBO’s series ‘Succession.’
The new documentary ‘This Changes Everything’ explores how women in Hollywood are pushing for more representation in front of and behind the camera. Actor Geena Davis and director Maria Giese talk with Terry Gross about the dramatic disparities on screen. Davis also discusses her career in films, including ‘Tootsie’ and ‘Thelma & Louise.’
Bruce Talamon has photographed Aretha Franklin, Marvin Gaye, Al Green, Diana Ross, Bob Marley, Patti LaBelle … the list goes on. A new book shows his work from 1972-1982. He spoke with Sonari Glinton.
‘New Yorker’ staff writer Jia Tolentino writes about how social media shapes identity, public discourse and political engagement, particularly for millennials like herself. She talks about growing up in a Houston megachurch, her devastating year in the Peace Corps, and how religion led her to MDMA. Her new book of essays is ‘Trick Mirror.’
Linguist Geoff Nunberg considers the use of the word “they” as a gender-neutral pronoun, and jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews the new album, ‘The Balance,’ from South African composer Abdullah Ibrahim.
Filmmaker Rodney Evans is still making movies, despite having lost much of his vision. His new documentary, ‘Vision Portraits,’ is about how he and three other blind or visually impaired artists (a photographer, a dancer, and a writer) continue to do their work.
Also, we remember Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker D.A. Pennebaker, who died Aug. 1. He pioneered a cinéma vérité style of filmmaking with ‘Bob Dylan: Don’t Look Back’ and ‘The War Room.’ Pennebaker spoke with Terry Gross in 1989.
Wanda Sykes’ latest Netflix stand-up special, ‘Not Normal,’ is nominated for two Emmys. She talks with Terry Gross about doing comedy in the Trump era, getting booed for criticizing the president, and coming out publicly at an LGBTQ rally.
Laura Lippman’s new novel, ‘Lady in the Lake,’ set in the 1960s, centers on Maddie Schwartz, who leaves her marriage, gets a job at Baltimore’s newspaper, and begins investigating the mysterious death of a young black woman. Lippman talks about her own experience in newsrooms as a reporter and losing her friend Rob Hiaasen in the ‘Capital Gazette’ shooting in Annapolis last year.
Paul Nicklen has spent decades documenting the Arctic, Antarctic and the effects of climate change. He talks about some of the dangerous situations he’s been in while on the job. “I’m not really scared of death, I just want my death to be cool, and I guess being speared by a narwhal would be a pretty cool way to go.” (Originally broadcast in June 2017)
Also, film critic Justin Chang reviews ‘Luce.’
Sykes talks about coming out publicly at an LGBTQ rally, her double mastectomy, and her career before comedy — working for the National Security Agency. Sykes’ latest Netflix stand-up special, ‘Not Normal,’ is nominated for two Emmys.
‘Washington Post’ tech columnist Geoffrey Fowler talks about how web browsers, phone apps, and smart speakers are tracking users, even when they’re asleep. Fowler listened to four years’ worth of audio that Amazon had captured and stored from his Alexa smart speaker — and was surprised by what he found.
Soraya Nadia McDonald reviews the final season of Netflix’s ‘Orange is the New Black,’ set in a immigration detention center.
Lippman’s new novel, ‘Lady in the Lake,’ set in the 1960s, centers on Maddie Schwartz, who leaves her marriage, gets a job at Baltimore’s newspaper, and begins investigating the mysterious death of a young black woman. Lippman talks about her own experience in newsrooms as a reporter, deciding to become a mother in her 50s, and losing her friend Rob Hiaasen in the ‘Capital Gazette’ shooting last year.