Iris Storm, femme fatale, races around London and Europe in her yellow Hispano-Suiza surrounded by romantic intrigue, but beneath the glamour she is destined to be a tragic heroine. A perfect synecdoche, in fact: as the hat is to the woman, so the words of the title are to an entire literary style. The success of the novel when it was first published in 1924 let to its adaptation for the screen, with Greta Garbo starring as Iris Storm.
Michael Arlen was born in Bulgaria in 1895 of Armenian parents. He changed his name from Dikran Konyounmdjian in 1922 and became a naturalised British subject. After being educated at Malvern College he wrote two novels which met with little attention. He achieved fame with the publication of The Green Hat in 1924. Driving around London in an enormous yellow Rolls Royce, slim, well-dressed and impeccably mannered, he was very like the characters in his novels. He lived in Cannes until the outbreak of the Second World War, and then moved to New York where he died in 1956.