Streep, Lee Get Medals From Obama

harperleearts-graphics-2007_1181875aPhilip Roth and Joyce Carol Oates are among the 2010 winners of the National Humanities Medal, and Harper Lee (pictured), Meryl Streep, and Quincy Jones are among the winners of the National Medal of Arts, which President Obama is awarding today at the White House. Neither Streep, who is in Britain filming “The Iron Lady,” in which she plays Maggie Thatcher, nor Lee are expected to attend. I hope Lee, the author of “To Kill a Mockingbird” and my favorite living writer, is not ill and thus unable to make the trip from her native Monroeville, Alabama. She was hale enough a few years ago to collect a medal from President Bush. Perhaps she is, as I’ve long suspected, a closet conservative.

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