In Memoriam: Jakob Arjouni, 1965-2013

Jakob Arjouni (Jakob Michelsen), German author, died on January 17, 2013. Arjouni, whose real name was Jakob Michelsen, became famous with a series of detective novels that were set in Frankfurt and featured the hard-boiled investigator Kemal Kayankaya.

Jakob Arjouni (dpa via


The novels with titles such as Happy Birthday, Türke and Mehr Bier were an immediate success, as was German director Doris Dörrie’s filmic version of Happy Birthday, Türke. In a more recent novel, Chez Max, Arjouni described a dystopian world set decades in the future, where a fenced-in first world keeps the rest of the globe in checks via drone assassinations and constraints creative expression through excessive political correctness.

More information about Arjouni can be found in this obituary in The Guardian.


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