Michael Dirda

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Michael Dirda at the 2008 Texas Book Festival

Michael Dirda (born 1948), a Fulbright Fellowship recipient, is a Pulitzer Prize–winning book critic for the Washington Post.


Having studied at Oberlin College for his undergraduate degree, Dirda took a Ph.D. from Cornell University in comparative literature. In 1978 Dirda started writing for the Washington Post; in 1993 he won the Pulitzer Prize for his criticism.[1] Currently, he is a book critic for the Post.[2]


Two collections of Dirda's literary journalism have been published:[3]

  • Readings: Essays and Literary Entertainments (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2000) ISBN 0-253-33824-7

He has also written:

  • An Open Book: Coming of Age in the Heartland (New York: W. W. Norton, 2003) ISBN 0-393-05756-9 (autobiography)
  • On Conan Doyle; or, The Whole Art of Storytelling (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2011) ISBN 0-691-15135-0

On Conan Doyle was awarded the 2012 Edgar Award in the Best Critical/Biographical category.[4] (Reviewer Darrell Schweitzer lauds the book in The New York Review of Science Fiction.[5])


Dirda lives in Silver Spring, Maryland, with his wife, Marian Peck Dirda, a prints and drawings conservator at the National Gallery of Art. They have three sons: Christopher (b. 1984), Michael (b. 1987), and Nathaniel (b. 1990).[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Fischer, Heinz-Dietrich; Fischer, Erika J. (2002). Complete Biographical Encyclopedia of Pulitzer Prize Winners, 1917–2000. The Pulitzer Prize Archive 16. Munich: K. G. Saur. p. 58. ISBN 3-598-30186-3. Retrieved 21 January 2010. 
  2. ^ Dirda, Michael (25 March 2005). "XXX". Washington Post. Retrieved 5 October 2010. 
  3. ^ "Local Author Bibliography: Michael Dirda". Lorain Public Library System. Retrieved 21 January 2010. 
  4. ^ "Washington Post's Michael Dirda Wins Edgar Award". The Washington Post. 26 April 2012. Retrieved 14 May 2012. 
  5. ^ Schweitzer, Darrell (January 2012). "On Conan Doyle; or, The Whole Art of Storytelling by Michael Dirda". The New York Review of Science Fiction (Pleasantville, NY: Dragon Press) 24 (5): 7. 
  6. ^ "WOSU Presents Ohioana Authors: Michael Dirda". Ohioana Authors. Retrieved 12 January 2012. 

External links[edit]