Round-Up: Tracy K. Smith, Black Mirror, and David Grossman

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From Tracy K. Smith’s appointment as US poet laureate to a forthcoming book series based on Netflix’s Black Mirror, here’s the latest in literary news:

Tracy K. Smith was named the new poet laureate of the United States last Wednesday. Smith, the author of three poetry collections, The Body’s Question (2003), Duende (2007), and the Pulitzer Prize–winning Life on Mars, is the director of creative writing at Princeton University and the first poet laureate to be appointed by Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden. Along with the title, Smith will have an office in the library, a travel budget, and a small stipend. She won’t have any political requirements. About traveling around the country and having discussions about poetry, Smith said: “To imagine . . . having conversations with people I can’t come into contact with every day, that feels like a really wonderful opportunity.”

Netflix’s TV series Black Mirror, created by Charlie Brooker, will be adapted into a book series, the British journalist and screenwriter announced on Twitter. Different authors, not Brooker, will write the three-volume series that will contain all new stories and will be published by Ebury, an imprint of Penguin Random House. The authors have yet to be announced, but publisher Jake Lingwood said they are “some of the smartest, sharpest novelists around.” The science fiction show’s episodes have centered on disturbing new technology. Readers can pre-order the first volume of the book series, which is slated to be published on February 22, 2018.

David Grossman’s novel A Horse Walks into a Bar won the Man Booker International prize for the year’s best fiction in translation. The novel, set in a small town in Israel, is about a “standup comic’s rambling and confessional routine in an Israeli comedy club.” Born and based in Jerusalem, Grossman, who has written fiction, nonfiction, and children’s books and whose work has been translated into thirty-six languages, will share his monetary prize with Jessica Cohen, his English translator, the Guardian reports. Grossman’s winning novel was up against 125 competing titles. Last year, South Korean novelist Han Kang and translator Deborah Smith won the prize for The Vegetarian.