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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.

05:53

Paying Tribute To San Francisco DJ Cheb I Sabbah.

For decades, San Francisco DJ Cheb i Sabbah has explored numerous fusions and reconfigurations of North African, Middle Eastern and Indian music styles. He's now in the midst of a health crisis, and many of his musician friends are lending support through a benefit album.

05:30

'Coral Glynn': The Art Of Repression

Peter Cameron's new novel about a young nurse is consummate English country home novel. Put the kettle on and settle in -- but don't get too comfortable: Cameron's writing is full of sharp angles an unanticipated swerves into the droll and the downright weird.

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.

29:29

Reynolds Price: A Southern Writer, A Lyrical Gift.

Reynolds Price, the acclaimed writer known for his evocative novels and stories about rural North Carolina, died in Durham on Thursday. He was 77. Fresh Air remembers the writer with excerpts taken from several interviews he gave over the past 20 years.

06:18

Clunky Characters, Cancer Characterize 'Big C.'

The new Showtime series stars Laura Linney as a wife and mother battling cancer. Critic David Bianculli says the leads (Oliver Platt among them) are just fine, but the subsidiary characters could use a second look. Also back for another season on Showtime: Weeds, which makes The Big C look limp by comparison.

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