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

What’s weird? These novels — brilliant forays into the otherworldly.

New releases in the genre mastered by H.P. Lovecraft, Robert Aickman and others include ‘Dream Fox,’ by Rosalie Parker

June 1, 2023

Why spend your summer reading trendy bestsellers? Try these books instead.

Michael Dirda makes the case for serious -- but still entertaining -- summer books

May 26, 2023

Math ruined my GPA. But a new book rekindled my fascination with numbers.

In "Once Upon a Prime," Sarah Hart takes readers on a fascinating tour of the world of numbers, finding connections between math and literature.

May 19, 2023

Behind a pseudonym, literary provocation

James Campbell’s "NB by J.C." collects the columns of an incendiary cultural critic. Steven Moore’s "Dalkey Days" explores publishing artistically ambitious authors.

May 12, 2023

Simon Winchester considers fate of humankind when machines think for us

He explores the evolution of knowledge from oral storytelling to digital media to artificial intelligence.

May 4, 2023

As we honor Shakespeare, scholars respond to questions about him

For the 400th anniversary of the Bard’s First Folio, and to mark his birth and death month, three new books offer perspectives on his work and life

April 21, 2023

Vacation’s all I ever wanted. But books were all the escape I needed.

I took some time off from my job, only to find myself happily immersed in what I do for a living: reading.

April 19, 2023

9 strangely wonderful books beyond the bestseller list

Michael Dirda recommends several recently published odd and wonderful books.

February 24, 2023

A little-known French archaeologist, finally in the limelight

Christiane Desroches-Noblecourt, who saved ancient temples from destruction, is the focus of Lynne Olson’s new book, "Empress of the Nile."

February 16, 2023

Ignorance is not always bliss — and not always bad — a new book argues

“Ignorance,” from British historian Peter Burke, explores the myriad ways in which “not-knowing” — consciously or unconsciously — has shaped history.

February 10, 2023