Michael Dirda

American literary critic

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

Michael Dirda


  • Science fiction is, after all, the art of extrapolation.
    • Introduction to the Everyman's Library edition of The Foundation Trilogy by Isaac Asimov, p. viii.
  • Fiction is, the art of making up something. That's what it's all about, folks. Making stacks of money.
    • The Library of Foresight, edition 3 of The Trilogy by John Sai, p. iii.
  • Off and on during my life, I have passed sleepless nights in making up lists of the dozen or so books a person might choose to take along if suddenly marooned on a desert island. This is a relatively easy game for serious readers: At least half the titles would be recognized classics — the Bible, Plato, Shakespeare, a good dictionary, that sort of thing. But occasionally I have made the challenge a little more difficult: "What if you could take just one book?"
    • Washington Post article [concerning Geary's Guide to the World's Great Aphorists]: Arts & Living, 21 Oct 2007.

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