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Michael Arlen, originally Dikran Kouyoumdjian Biography

(1895–1956), originally Dikran Kouyoumdjian, The London Venture, The Green Hat, Zeitgeist, These Charming People, May Fair

British novelist, the son of an Armenian merchant; he was born in Roustchouk, Bulgaria, but grew up in Britain from 1901 onward, and was educated at Malvern College and Edinburgh University. Having begun publishing his fiction as ‘Michael Arlen’ he assumed that name when he took British nationality in 1922. Edmund Goose recommended the publication of The London Venture (1920), his first novel. His reputation as a leading novelist of the day was firmly established with The Green Hat (1924), one of the best-selling books of the 1920s; vividly descriptive and wittily mannered, its narrative of affluent hedonism, sexual liberation, and bitter disillusionment appealed strongly to the post-war Zeitgeist. The book's Mayfair setting and sophisticated social milieu were staple ingredients of his most characteristic work, which also includes the short stories of These Charming People (1923) and May Fair (1925) and the novels Lily Christine (1929), Men Dislike Women (1931), Hell! Said The Duchess (1934), and Flying Dutchman (1939). In the course of the 1930s his popularity declined. He lived on the Cote d'Azur from 1928 to 1939. Following his service with the Civil Defence during the Second World War he moved to the USA in 1945 where he worked as a writer of screenplays.

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Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern FictionEncyclopedia of Literature: Areley Kings (or arley regis) Worcestershire to George Pierce Baker Biography