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Michael Dirda

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Michael Dirda
Dirda in 2009
Born1948 (age 75–76)
EducationOberlin College (BA)
Cornell University (MA, PhD)
OccupationBook critic for the Washington Post

Michael Dirda (born 1948) is an American book critic, working for the Washington Post. He has been a Fulbright Fellow and won a Pulitzer Prize in 1993.


Having studied at Oberlin College for his undergraduate degree in 1970, Dirda earned an M.A. in 1974 and PhD in 1977 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 columnist for the Post.[2]

In 2002, Dirda was invested as a member of The Baker Street Irregulars.[3]


Two collections of Dirda's literary journalism have been published:[4]

  • Readings: Essays and Literary Entertainments (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2000) ISBN 0-253-33824-7
  • Bound to Please (New York: W. W. Norton, 2005) ISBN 0-393-05757-7

He has also written:

On Conan Doyle was awarded the 2012 Edgar Award in the Best Critical/Biographical category.[5] (Reviewer Darrell Schweitzer lauds the book in The New York Review of Science Fiction.[6])


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).[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Fischer, Heinz-Dietrich; Fischer, Erika J. (2002). Complete Biographical Encyclopedia of Pulitzer Prize Winners, 1917–2000. The Pulitzer Prize Archive. Vol. 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. ^ Dirda, Michael (August 16, 2017). "If you love Sherlock Holmes, you'll love this book". The Washington Post. Retrieved January 2, 2019.
  4. ^ "Local Author Bibliography: Michael Dirda". Lorain Public Library System. Archived from the original on 18 July 2011. Retrieved 21 January 2010.
  5. ^ "Washington Post's Michael Dirda Wins Edgar Award". The Washington Post. 26 April 2012. Retrieved 14 May 2012.
  6. ^ Schweitzer, Darrell (January 2012). "On Conan Doyle; or, The Whole Art of Storytelling by Michael Dirda". The New York Review of Science Fiction. 24 (5). Pleasantville, NY: Dragon Press: 7.
  7. ^ "WOSU Presents Ohioana Authors: Michael Dirda". Ohioana Authors. Retrieved 12 January 2012.

External links[edit]