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Michael Arlen
1927 Time cover featuring Arlen
1927 Time cover featuring Arlen
Born Dikran Kouyoumdjian
(1895-11-16)16 November 1895
Ruse, Bulgaria
Died 23 June 1956(1956-06-23) (aged 60)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Occupation Essayist, short story writer, novelist, playwright, and scriptwriter
Education Malvern College
Notable works
  • The London Venture (Heinemann, 1920)
  • Piracy (Collins, 1922)
  • The Green Hat (Collins, 1924)
  • Young Men in Love (Hutchinson, 1927)
  • Lily Christine (Doubleday, Doran, 1929)
  • Men Dislike Women (Heinemann, 1931)
  • Man's Mortality (Heinemann, 1933)
  • Hell! Said the Duchess (Heinemann, 1934)
  • The Flying Dutchman (Heinemann, 1939)
Spouse Countess Atalanta Mercati
Children 2, including Michael J. Arlen

Michael Arlen (16 November 1895 – 23 June 1956), born Dikran Kouyoumdjian (Armenian: Տիգրան Գոյումճեան), was a British essayist, short story writer, novelist, playwright, and scriptwriter of Armenian origin, who had his greatest successes in the 1920s while living and writing in England. Arlen is most famous for his satirical romances set in English smart society, but he also wrote gothic horror and psychological thrillers, for instance "The Gentleman from America", which was filmed in 1956 as a television episode for Alfred Hitchcock's TV series Alfred Hitchcock Presents. Near the end of his life, Arlen mainly occupied himself with political writing. Arlen's vivid but colloquial style "with unusual inversions and inflections with a heightened exotic pitch" came to be known as 'Arlenesque'.

Very much a 1920s society figure resembling the characters he portrayed in his novels, and a man who might be referred to as a dandy, Arlen invariably impressed everyone with his immaculate manners. He was always impeccably dressed and groomed, and was seen driving around London in a fashionable yellow Rolls Royce and engaging in various luxurious activities. However, he was well aware of the latent suspicion of foreigners, mixed with the envy with which his success was viewed by some.

His works became an inspiration for famous Hollywood movies such as A Woman of Affairs (1928), starring Greta Garbo and John Gilbert; The Golden Arrow (1936), starring Bette Davis; and The Heavenly Body (1944), starring William Powell and Hedy Lamarr.

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