Nelson Algren (March 28, 1909 – May 9, 1981) was an American writer. Algren may be best known for The Man with the Golden Arm, a 1949 novel that won the National Book Award and was adapted as the 1955 film of the same name.
According to Harold Augenbraum, "in the late 1940s and early 1950s he was one of the best known literary writers in America". The lover of French writer Simone de Beauvoir, he is featured in her novel The Mandarins, set in Paris and Chicago.
He is considered "a sort of bard of the down-and-outer", based on this book, but also on his short stories in The Neon Wilderness (1947) and his novel A Walk on the Wild Side (1956). The latter was adapted as the 1962 film of the same name (directed by Edward Dmytryk, screenplay by John Fante).