Skip to main content

Mothers and sons




A Writer Gets to the "Heart" of her Past

Poet Maya Angelou has written a new memoir which details her relationship with her son while she worked as a singer and civil rights activist. She discusses the impact of prominent African American leaders like Billie Holiday, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Malcom X had on her personally and intellectually.


Atheist Mother, Christian Son.

William Murray is the son of atheist crusader Madalyn Murray O'Hair, whom the family considered "the most hated woman in America." At the age of 14, Murray was the plaintiff in a Supreme Court case his mother filed to remove prayer from the Baltimore Public Schools. Murray experienced a difficult relationship with Murray O'Hair, who terrorized him as child. As an adult, Murray converted to Christianity and hasn't spoken to his mother since 1977. His new book is "My Life Without God."


Russell Baker Works His Way Up the Newspaper Business

The Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist and former White House correspondent wanted to be a great novelist; he became a reporter and memoirist instead. His newest book, The Good Times, details his career during his 20s and 30s. He joins Fresh Air to talk about his frustrations as a Washington reporter, a particularly memorable interview with President Johnson, and how his writing changed as a columnist.


Movie Director Agnes Varda

The French filmmaker started making movies before the New Wave movement, and without having a vast knowledge of film history. Her latest, Kung Fu Master, is about forty-year-old woman who falls in love with an adolescent boy. Varda cast her son as the male lead.


Mother and Son Discuss Compulsive Shopping.

Writer and shopper Paul Rudnick, and his mother, Selma. Paul Runick, best-known for his play Poor Little Lambs, for the novel Social Disease, and for his essays in such publications as Esquire and Vanity Fair, has just published a novel about, among other things, a mother and son shopping team. Titled I'll Take It, the thinly veiled autobiographical novel is about the developed inability to resist the temptation to shop, and about the quest for ultimate bliss - a good sale.


Negotiating the Ethics of Terminal Care

Journalist Andrew H. Malcolm's new book, "Someday," is his first-person account of his decision to take his terminally ill mother off life support, a decision made ironic by the fact that Malcom often covers issues of medical ethics and the right to die for the New York Times.


Dorothy Beam on Finishing her Son's Last Book.

Dorothy Beam. Her son Joe Beam died of AIDS three years ago. He was a writer who was in the process of editing his second anthology of Black gay writing. Dorothy helped finish the work her son started, along with editor Essex Hemphill. The collection is "Brother to Brother: New Writings by Black Gay Men," (published by Alyson Publications). Joseph Beam's first anthology is "In the Life: A Black Gay Anthology." (Interview by Marty Moss-Coane)


Did you know you can create a shareable playlist?


There are more than 22,000 Fresh Air segments.

Let us help you find exactly what you want to hear.
Just play me something
Your Queue

Would you like to make a playlist based on your queue?

Generate & Share View/Edit Your Queue