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Author Atwood honored with Harvard Arts Medal

Margaret Atwood with John Lithgow at Harvard University on Thursday.

Jessica Rinaldi/Globe Staff

Margaret Atwood with John Lithgow at Harvard University on Thursday.

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The great Canadian writer Margaret Atwood was in Cambridge Thursday to receive the 2014 Harvard Arts Medal. Atwood, a Harvard grad who’s written more than 40 books of fiction, poetry, and critical essays, including “Oryx and Crake,” “The Blind Assassin,” “and “The Handmaid’s Tale,” chatted with actor John Lithgow about her life and work. Previous Medal recipients include saxophonist/composers Joshua Redman and Fred Ho, playwright Christopher Durang, poets John Ashbery and Maxine Kumin, cellist Yo-Yo Ma, director Mira Nair, author John Updike, songwriters Bonnie Raitt and Pete Seeger, and actors Jack Lemmon and Matt Damon, among others. . . . We haven’t seen Johnny Depp yet, but Scott Cooper, who’ll soon be directing Depp in “Black Mass,” the movie about mobster Whitey Bulger, is in town. The other night Cooper, who directed “Crazy Heart,” was spotted dining at Rialto with Oscar-winning director Errol Morris and former advice columnist Margo Howard, author of the forthcoming memoir “Eat, Drink and Remarry: Confessions of a Serial Wife.” . . . Meanwhile, “Modern Family” actress Sofía Vergara lunched downtown this week at Legal Crossing.

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