All I Did Was Ask: Conversations with Writers, Actors, Musicians, and Artists

All I Did Was Ask: Conversations with Writers, Actors, Musicians, and Artists

by Terry Gross


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Gross has transcribed 39 interviews from her weekday public radio program Fresh Air with people from the art and literature community. Among them are Johnny Cash, Mickey Spillane, Jodie Foster, Divine, Isabella Rossellini, Eric Clapton, James Baldwin, and Maurice Sendak. There is no index or bibliography. Annotation ©2004 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780786888207
Publisher: Hachette Books
Publication date: 10/05/2005
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 384
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.85(d)
Age Range: 13 - 18 Years

About the Author

Terry Gross started out in public radio in 1973 at WBFO, the NPR affiliate on the campus of her alma mater, the State University of New York at Buffalo. She became producer and host of Fresh Air in 1975, when it was still a local program. Fresh Air won a Peabody Award in 1994 for its "probing questions, revelatory interviews, and unusual insights." In 2003, Terry herself received public radio's highest honor, the Edward R. Murrow Award. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband, the writer Francis Davis.

Read an Excerpt

"You may be wondering what the point is of reading interviews that were meant to be listened to. I've asked myself that. But in going through transcripts in preparation for this book, I was pleasantly surprised that so many of the interviews I remembered as having been good radio also made for enjoyable reading. In reading the ones gathered here — I probably shouldn't admit this—I've learned things from them that went right by me in the studio." —from the Introduction

Table of Contents

Don't Do It1
Like a Skinny Boxer13
Being Square19
A Man's Voice29
Lift Everything Up37
Erotic Cheese and Crackers45
A New Gift53
The Craft Itself63
Use the Disadvantage69
Right in the Gut81
You Will Not Find the Word "Lesbian"87
We All Die95
A Family Courtesy103
Make Sense of It Later111
Bootzilla Twenty-seven Hours a Day119
In the Junkyards137
Alive in a Coffin143
A Difficult Place to Grow Up157
I Never Told Jokes167
Beauty Gone Berserk177
Kissing and Licking Boots185
To Iron a Shirt193
So What?205
Not to Think213
Send the Salami221
Like Raw Meat227
A Little out of Whack237
The Way People Look247
It Gets Harder255
Mom, Dad, I Want to Be a Tap Dancer263
Nothing Else Would Matter277
A Large Feminine Side287
Too Much for You to Take293
Dramatic Beats305
Stop Acting319
In That Hurricane327
A Place of Protection331
A Fraudulent Angel339

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All I Did Was Ask: Conversations With Writers, Actors Musicians, And Artists 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
leadmomma on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book was a great chance to sit & revisit some of the interviews I've really enjoyed over the years and then there's the one with Gene Simmons. It was interesting to read the forward and acknowledgements to learn more about the staff of Fresh Air and how important they are to the program.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
I'm a long-time fan of Terry Gross and Fresh Air, and also am an avid reader. Had the pleasure of seeing Terry in person when she performed at the Kravis Center in WPB, Florida, a year or two ago. I had heard many of the interviews appearing in the book, but for me it was a must-have for my library (bought extras for Christmas gifts too). Terry has a wonderful gift for asking just the right questions and letting the interviewee express him/herself. Highly recommended!
Guest More than 1 year ago
There isn't a way to access all the interviews in the 'Fresh Air' archives. What a treasure trove of culture that would be. Out of the thousands of interviews, Terry Gross has picked through and chosen these standouts. It would have been so diffcult to cull into this book everything, I am sure, she would have wanted to highlight. The parts where she explains the process and leaves us with her own observations are enlightening. Knowing a little of what went on in her head (especially about the Gene Simmons interview) gives me a different view of the interview I remember hearing. It takes what I thought was a planned and prepped interview going down the tubes into a 'radio by the seat of your pants' experience. This book kinda does for Terry, what her interviews do for the interview subjects we are so interested in.