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Fresh Air Weekend: Jason Isbell, 'Cuckoo's Calling,' 'Orange Is The New Black'

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:

Jason Isbell Locates His Musical Compass On 'Southeastern': The singer-songwriter earned a name for himself while playing with Drive-By Truckers and The 400 Unit, but on his new album — written after he got sober — Isbell finds a new level of emotional honesty. Here, he talks with Terry Gross about his life and plays songs from Southeastern.

The Only Surprise In Rowling's 'Cuckoo's Calling' Is The Author: After "Robert Galbraith" was revealed to be the pen name for J.K. Rowling, many readers have been circling back to a "debut" novel they'd initially overlooked. Critic Maureen Corrigan says the mystery is respectable, but she will shelve it in the "I've read worse, but I've read better" category.

Laughs And Drama Behind Bars With 'Orange Is The New Black': Netflix recently unveiled its newest exclusive series: Orange Is the New Black, created by Jenji Kohan, who also created Weeds. All 13 one-hour episodes of the first season are available for streaming, and David Bianculli says the show is another Netflix success.

You can listen to the original interviews here:

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Lisa Lucas Takes The Reins At The National Book Foundation

Lucas is the third executive director in the history of the foundation, which runs the National Book Awards. Her priority? Inclusivity: "Everyone is either a reader or a potential reader," she says.
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The Shocking Truth About America's Ethanol Law: It Doesn't Matter (For Now)

Ted Cruz doesn't like the law that requires the use of ethanol in gasoline. So what would happen if it was abolished? The surprising answer: not much, probably.
WAMU 88.5

The Latest on the Military, Political and Humanitarian Crises in Syria

Russia continues airstrikes in Syria. Secretary Kerry meets with world leaders in an attempt to resolve the country’s five-year civil war. A panel joins Diane to discuss the latest on the military, political and humanitarian crises facing Syria.

NPR

Should India's Internet Be Free Of Charge, Or Free Of Control?

Facebook's free Internet service was banned in India on the basis of net neutrality this week. Internet providers, regulators say, should not be allowed "to shape the users' Internet experience."

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