Fresh Air with Terry Gross

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Author Neil Gaiman has always been fascinated by dreams. As he sees it, dreams are what differentiate people from one another.

"None of us exist in a world that is the same world that any of the rest of us live in," Gaiman explains to Fresh Air's Sam Briger. "The world that's important is the world behind each of our eyes, which is something that none of the rest of us can access."

Growing up as the son of a pathologist, Thomas Laqueur says, his father would leave the dinner table to conduct autopsies. Sometimes Laqueur would watch his father prepare pathological samples that he had taken from the bodies.

"I lived in a family in which the dead were present," Laqueur explains to Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "My father regarded the dead very routinely, in a way a mortician might regard them. He was interested in them scientifically."

Years ago, before he had made a name for himself as the director of the first season of HBO's True Detective, Cary Fukunaga was a college student learning about conflicts in Central and West Africa. He remembers being particularly struck by accounts of child soldiers — a subject Fukunaga revisits in his new film, Beasts of No Nation.

It's that time of the year when critics proudly unveil their "10 Best" lists. But every December, I find myself compiling a private list that's different and guiltier. I call it my Ghost List, and it's composed of all the terrific things I've read, watched or heard that, for reasons ranging from bad timing to laziness — yes, critics can be lazy — I didn't get around to praising on Fresh Air. This year, I've decided to rectify that by conjuring up six ghosts I wish I'd shared with you earlier.

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 2015 Fresh Air. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/programs/fresh-air/.

Transcript

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Copyright 2015 Fresh Air. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/programs/fresh-air/.

Transcript

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm Terry Gross.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

GROSS: Tomorrow marks the centennial of Frank Sinatra's birth.

When actor Jeffrey Tambor first read the script for the Amazon series Transparent, he remembers being bowled over. The series, created by Jill Soloway, tells the story of Maura, a 70-something divorced parent of three who comes out as a transgender woman.

"I had never read anything quite like this," he tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "I loved it from the very beginning."

Copyright 2015 Fresh Air. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/programs/fresh-air/.

Transcript

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Copyright 2015 Fresh Air. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/programs/fresh-air/.

Transcript

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

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