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26:56

Actress Sarah Polley

The 24-year-old Polley has acted professionally since the age of 6. She starred in the Atom Egoyan films Exotica and The Sweet Hereafter. She's currently starring in the film My Life Without Me, based on a story by Nanci Kincaid called Pretending the Bed is a Raft. It's about a young, working single mother who learns she's going to die but keeps it a secret. The changes she makes to her life give her a new sense of liberation. Polley also will appear in the upcoming film The I Inside and a remake of the cult horror film Dawn of the Dead.

19:00

Louis C.K.'s Diagnosis: 'Masterful'

Louis C.K. decided to offer Tig Notaro: Live exclusively on his website when he saw the comedian perform a set just hours after receiving her cancer diagnosis.

42:03

Going In '50/50' On A Cancer Comedy, With Laughs.

Screenwriter Will Reiser coped with his cancer diagnosis by thinking up ideas for cancer comedy movies with his best friend, actor Seth Rogen. Rogen and actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt now star in a film based on Reiser's life. Both Gordon-Levitt and Reiser join Fresh Air for a conversation about the film.

This interview was originally broadcast on September 28, 2011. 50/50 is now available on DVD.

19:51

Maurice Sendak: On Life, Death And Children's Lit.

His latest book Bumble-ardy is a deeply imaginative tale about an orphaned pig who longs for a birthday party. Sendak, who is 83, wrote and illustrated the book while caring for his longtime partner, who died of cancer in 2007. "I did Bumble-ardy to save myself," Sendak says. "I did not want to die with him."

This week on Fresh Air, we're marking the year's end by revisiting some of the most memorable conversations we've had in 2011. This interview was originally broadcast on September 20, 2011.

31:14

David Rakoff's 'Half Empty' Full Of Humor, Guilt.

Writer David Rakoff's received the 2011 Thurber Prize for American Humor for his essay collection Half Empty. In the book, Rakoff explains the powers of pessimistic thought as he analyzes topics such as a pornography trade fair, his neurotic childhood and his recent cancer diagnosis.

This interview was originally broadcast on Sept. 21, 2010. This week, David Rakoff received the 2011 Thurber Prize for American Humor for his essay collection Half Empty, which is now available in paperback.

21:14

The Rev. Forrest Church, Living 'Love And Death'

Unitarian minister Forrest Church was diagnosed with terminal esophageal cancer last February. He has written and edited over 20 books since 1985. His latest, Love and Death, is a memoir that confronts the fact of death and, in the process, offers readers a meditation on the end of life.

35:53

David Rieff, 'Swimming in a Sea of Death'

Diagnosed with cancer for the third time, Susan Sontag signed on for a harsh treatment regimen in hopes it would keep her alive. But it only added to her suffering. Her son, journalist David Rieff, has published a memoir about his mother's "revolt against death."

20:41

Comic Book Author Harvey Pekar

Harvey Pekar has edited a new volume of comics called The Best American Comics 2006. Pekar began writing comic book stories in 1972. The first collection of Pekar's work was American Splendor. Pekar also wrote the book Our Cancer Year in collaboration with his wife, Joyce Brabner. This interview first aired Nov. 10, 2005.

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