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

T.S. Eliot wrote of waste and woe. His private life provided material.

Robert Crawford’s “Eliot After ‘The Waste Land’” explores the messy, sad and complicated details of the celebrated poet's life.

September 28, 2022

Book World began on Watergate’s heels: A look back at the early days

Michael Dirda recalls a time of typewriters and landlines, of putting together a newspaper section that captured the joy of literature and love of reading.

September 22, 2022

Martin Edwards’s ‘The Life of Crime’ will thrill mystery fans

Martin Edwards’s history of mysteries will send new readers to old books.

September 14, 2022

Wodehouse, Lovecraft and yes, Gary Larson: This summer, I read widely

At season’s end, a look back at the books and literary events that delighted me

September 7, 2022

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