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

Science fiction — please, let’s not call it ‘sci-fi’ — is more than just a reaction to the present

New books and publications delve into the rich and evolving worlds of speculative fiction.

January 19, 2022

You’re done with it all. You head for the hills. What books do you bring?

Here are the 66 books I’d take to my “desert island.”

January 12, 2022

T.S. Eliot may have been flawed, but a new book reminds of his greatness on the page

As we reach the centenary of "The Wasteland," a new look at Eliot beyond the poem that defined him

January 5, 2022

12 books I should have reviewed last year: A critic’s lament

There were too many worthy books, but I had too little time — and, alas, too many excuses.

December 28, 2021

‘Around the World in Eighty Days’ — about to get a reboot — is the perfect Christmas tale

The classic adventure story mirrors the holiday season — weeks of madcap action and inner turmoil that usher in a morning of gladness and goodwill.

December 22, 2021

Looking for a seasonal tale of mystery, murder and ghosts? Here are 9 books just for you.

You can’t beat Holmes for the holidays. Also, Victorian Christmas ghost stories for those cozy nights by the fire.

December 15, 2021

Books make the best gifts. Here are seven surprising choices for the readers on your list.

Critic Michael Dirda’s picks include ‘Dear Highlights,’ ‘A Ray Bradbury Compendium’ and ‘American Christmas Stories’

December 8, 2021

7 beautiful books that transport you to the worlds of Bond, Tolkien, Spider-Man and beyond

Critic Michael Dirda picks illustrated books that won’t just sit on your coffee table.

December 1, 2021

‘True Grit’ is a modern classic, but it’s not the only great work by Charles Portis

I binge-read Portis’s books — “Norwood,” “The Dog of the South” and more. They offered just the lift I needed.

November 24, 2021

‘A Voyage to Arcturus’ may have sold 596 copies in its first printing, but it deserves a wider audience

This titanic mix of fantasy, science fiction and philosophy is a challenging but worthwhile read. C.S. Lewis agreed.

November 17, 2021