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Copyright 2020 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

Gish Jen has always had something of a "Frank Capra-esque" view of America. Like Capra, who directed immortal Hollywood films like Mr. Smith Goes to Washington and It's a Wonderful Life, Jen's big theme in her work is the promise of America — imperfect, erratic, but still worth cherishing. Her characters — most of them immigrants or first-generation Americans — are a variant of the "little guys" Capra also loved. They always find themselves up against a rigged system favoring the rich, powerful and white so-called "typical Americans" of her first novel's title.

Copyright 2020 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm Terry Gross.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "THE OUTSIDER")

BEN MENDELSOHN: (As Ralph Anderson) Look - I've been a law enforcement professional for over 20 years. So is it even imaginable that to you that I'm fine?

STEVE WITTING: (As Herbert Zucker) You feel fine?

MENDELSOHN: (As Ralph) [Expletive] No, I don't feel fine.

Copyright 2020 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Copyright 2020 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Copyright 2020 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

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:

Claire Danes Reflects 'With Gratitude' On Her Life-Changing 'Homeland' Tenure: As her Showtime series draws to an end, Danes talks about playing CIA agent Carrie Mathison and what it was like navigating adolescence while starring in My So-Called Life.

Copyright 2020 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

The latest adaptation of Jane Austen's Emma is as handsome, clever and rich as its famous heroine — and I mean "rich" in the caloric sense, as well. I wanted to snack on every pastel-hued surface of Kave Quinn's production design, which suggests nothing less than a frosted cupcake come to life — a feast of lace bonnets and high collars, gilded frames and glass chandeliers.

It has been nearly a decade since actor Claire Danes first appeared as CIA agent Carrie Mathison on the Showtime series Homeland. Now that the show is in its eighth and final season, Danes is feeling reflective about its run.

"I started the show as a barely married person, and I'm leaving the show as a mother of two. [We] just celebrated our 10-year wedding anniversary," she says. "It's going to be a while before I can understand and I can appreciate what this is all meant to me. ... More than anything, I'm filled with gratitude."

In the 1990s, long before he became president, Donald Trump was known as a cash-strapped New York City businessman with shaky credit.

"His record of defaulting on loans and stiffing his business partners was very long and very well-documented," New York Times finance editor David Enrich says. "Any mainstream financial institution that had competent risk management systems in place — there is no way they were going to do business with Donald Trump."

Copyright 2020 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Copyright 2020 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

The music duo perform songs from their self-titled debut album, which draws on the music of the '30s and '40s. "There is a timeless quality to these old standards," Vilray says.

Copyright 2020 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm Dave Davies, in for Terry Gross. It's President's Day, and today, we take a look at the Trump presidency through the eyes of two Pulitzer Prize-winning reporters from The Washington Post, Philip Rucker and Carol Leonnig. I spoke with them in January when their new book was published, but our interview was preempted on most stations by special coverage of the impeachment trial in the Senate. Today, we'll air that interview along with an update on events since it was recorded.

Copyright 2020 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

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 2020 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

Copyright 2020 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm David Bianculli, sitting in for Terry GROSS.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "HIGH FIDELITY")

Copyright 2020 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is now the richest man in the world, with an empire that stretches from Hollywood to Whole Foods — and even into outer space.

Copyright 2020 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. You probably wouldn't expect humor to be a key element in a story about child kidnapping and human trafficking in India. But our book critic, Maureen Corrigan, says Deepa Anappara's debut novel, "Djinn Patrol On The Purple Line," doesn't play to conventional expectations. Here's her review.

Copyright 2020 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm Terry Gross.

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