Michael Arlen

Novelist Michael Arlen (Dikran Kouyoumdjian) was born in Rousse, Bulgaria in 1895 into the family of an  Armenian merchant. His father (Sarkis) had settled in Bulgaria to flee Turkish persecution.  In 1901 the family moved again but this time to England.  Young Kouyoumdjian attended the University of Edinburgh where he studied medicine. After convincing his parents that he would be more successful as a writer, he moved to London in 1913. At first he wrote entirely for an Armenian publication in London.  But after the publication of his ‘The London Venture’ (1920), he decided to write exclusively in English under the pen name Michael Arlen. His first English book was a collection of essays titled ‘The Romantic Lady’. He then wrote ‘Piracy’ (1922). Although he wrote several other books in the ‘20s, he hit the big time with the publication of ‘The Green Hat’ in the mid-‘20s. 

Novelist Michael Arlen (Dikran Kouyoumdjian) was born in Rousse, Bulgaria in 1895 into the family of an  Armenian merchant. His father (Sarkis) had settled in Bulgaria to flee Turkish persecution.  In 1901 the family moved again but this time to England.  Young Kouyoumdjian attended the University of Edinburgh where he studied medicine. After convincing his parents that he would be more successful as a writer, he moved to London in 1913. At first he wrote entirely for an Armenian publication in London.  But after the publication of his ‘The London Venture’ (1920), he decided to write exclusively in English under the pen name Michael Arlen. His first English book was a collection of essays titled ‘The Romantic Lady’. He then wrote ‘Piracy’ (1922). Although he wrote several other books in the ‘20s, he hit the big time with the publication of ‘The Green Hat’ in the mid-‘20s. 

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