Books: Under the Green Hat

EXILES by Michael J. Arlen. 226 pages. Farrar, Straus & Giroux. $6.95.

In the '20s, when he was in his 20s, an Armenian named Dikran Kouyoumjian created a string of literary entertainments about the Bright Young People of London's Mayfair. No one was better than he at writing about "silly young Lords, who drink champagne in the morning, and marvelous new 1920s women, who swear (ever so slightly) and are bored with silly young Lords." His greatest confection was Iris March (in The Green Hat), a fell lady who seductively drops her keepsake emerald...

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