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Margaret Atwood on ice: What are your favorite literary cameos?

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Margaret Atwood, grand dame of Canadian literature, Booker Prize winner, author of The Handmaid’s Tale and The Blind Assassin, has announced her next project: a singing cameo in the upcoming movie Score: A Hockey Musical, starring Olivia Newton-John and Nelly Furtado. What the H-E-Double hockey sticks?

This isn’t the first time an established literary figure has popped up briefly in the world of cinema. Salman Rushdie played an obstetrician who gives Helen Hunt a sonogram in her directorial debut Then She Found Me. (Was he attended by the Satanic Nurses?) Hunter S. Thompson appeared in a drug-induced flashback in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Graham Greene played an insurance salesman in François Truffaut’s Day for Night. And the notoriously public-averse Raymond Chandler had a brief and, for a long time, unknown drop-by in the noir classic Double Indemnity, for which he wrote the screenplay.

Still, among all these, none hold a candle to the greatest literary cameo of all time, one in which the highbrow mingled absurdly with the lowest of the lowbrow. I am, of course, referring to Kurt Vonnegut’s brief turn in Back to School, in which he ghostwrites Rodney Dangerfield’s essay on the work of, yes, Kurt Vonnegut.

It’s hard to top the author of Slaughterhouse-Five appearing opposite the star of Ladybugs — but what’s your favorite writer-on-film moment?

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