Jul 23, 2010 — Ramona has been making trouble ever since the 1950s, when she first appeared in print. Now she's the focus of a new movie, Ramona and Beezus. In a revival of NPR's 'In Character' series, Elizabeth Blair takes a look at Beverly Cleary's most beloved creation.
Oct 14, 2008 — Though fierce political opponents, John McCain and Barack Obama agree on a literary matter: Each picks Ernest Hemingway's 1940 novel For Whom the Bell Tolls, featuring the stoic freedom-fighter Robert Jordan, as a favorite.
Oct 9, 2008 — The singer's 1973 hit "Jolene" has been covered more than any of her other songs. Parton says that "Jolene" remains popular in part because of how universal it is: Everyone relates to the singer's sense of inadequacy, and that comes through in each musician's rendition.
Sep 13, 2008 — Army sergeant Vernon Waters from A Soldier's Story is a complicated character. He's a murderer. And he's obsessed with protecting the dignity — and future — of the African-American race.
Sep 8, 2008 — One of the best-known politicians of the 20th century was Willie Stark, the populist hero who rose to rule his state in All the King's Men. Stark has lived on in three stage plays, two movies, an opera and several required-reading lists.
Aug 4, 2008 — She's a spider's spider — sophisticated, pretty (by her own account), authoritarian — and she says something profound about love and commitment. Melissa Block looks at the heroine of Charlotte's Web.
Jul 30, 2008 — An eccentric, a free spirit and an unflaggingly open-minded heroine, Mame Dennis taught more than one protege — including NPR's Bob Mondello — how to open new windows without worrying about the view.
Jul 30, 2008 — Folklorist Patricia Turner discusses "Uncle Tom" — the lead character in the anti-slavery novel "Uncle Tom's Cabin" by abolitionist Harriet Beecher Stowe — as part of NPR's In Character series. The series examines the fictional characters who have defined American life.
Jul 20, 2008 — When Henry Fleming joins the Union Army, he's got big ideas of what glorious battles await him. He's eager to impress his friends and a brown-haired girl he likes. But soon he questions himself — and his courage.
Jul 16, 2008 — When the movie The Dark Knight opens Thursday, thousands of people will be haunted by the late Heath Ledger's portrayal of The Joker. Batman's arch-nemesis has not always been such a menacing, sadistic fellow, however.