Michael Dirda

Michael Dirda is a Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist for The Washington Post Book World and the author of the memoir “An Open Book” and of four collections of essays: “Readings,” “Bound to Please,” “Book by Book” and “Classics for Pleasure.” Dirda was born in Lorain, Ohio, graduated with highest honors in English from Oberlin College, and received a Ph.D. in comparative literature (medieval studies and European romanticism) from Cornell University.
Latest from Michael Dirda

Marvel superheroes get a spiffy update. Still, I miss my old DC Comics.

Updated volumes of Spider-Man, Black Panther, Captain America and Hulk bring welcome new relevance, but there’s something missing.

July 6, 2022

Auden was more than a great poet. Two books remind us why.

Volumes I and II of ‘The Complete Works of W.H. Auden: Poems’ delve deeply into the masterful works I have long admired.

June 29, 2022

‘Invisible Things’ is a science fiction novel with an eye on the now

Mat Johnson’s latest book delivers a biting satire of American politics and class issues — from the vantage point of outer space.

June 22, 2022

James Joyce is on my summer reread list. Also, Colette.

I’ll revisit "Ulysses" on its 100th anniversary and delve into "Cheri" as well as works by wonderful modern writers like Guy Gavriel Kay.

June 15, 2022

Marina Warner’s new book evokes the vanished glamour of yesterday

The wondrously entertaining ‘Esmond and Ilia,’ follows the author’s parents from the English countryside to the Cairo in its heyday

June 8, 2022

In this stellar group of European writers, two worthy of the Nobel

Savor the mastery of "The Aphorisms of Franz Kafka," "533 Days," "The White Room" and "The Lure of the Unknown."

June 1, 2022

In these gloomy, divisive times, does anyone care about books? I do.

Books emphasize interiority, encourage empathy, require thought and are meant to foster rational argument -- things we all need.

May 25, 2022

The tale of a dropout who found purpose in books, travel and just living

James Campbell’s memoir "Just Go Down to the Road" captures an era and how it shaped the author’s eventual literary career.

May 18, 2022

Finding wisdom in Charles Baudelaire’s mad scribblings

A new translation of ‘The Late Fragments’ reveals the great French poet’s wit and foresight

May 11, 2022

What bookstores and the literary life contribute to ... life

A stack of new books illuminates the wonder of printed books — writing them, buying them, reading them.

May 4, 2022