Elise Camille Cookson in Tarrytown, New York, 1933, Elise grew
up in neighboring Peekskill, New York. Her varied career, spanning
five decades, has taken her to many countries on four continents,
including the South Seas before the advent of jet travel. She practiced
a wide variety of professions ranging from independent film producer
in Hollywood to farmer in Africa and Argentina to Wall Street broker
and public school foreign language teacher, until finally, at age
sixty-one, she was able to begin her writing career.
Beginning in Europe in 1955, she was hired as a publicist for United
Artists. From there she went on to work in Hollywood, New York, and
on location for major motion pictures.
Hollywood, she joined the U.S. Foreign Service and was assigned to
the Belgian Congo, where she met her explorer husband, Pierre Dallemagne.
She managed his family's ranch and coffee plantation until the Congo's
independence forced them out. Her first book, The
Bearded Lion Who Roars, a memoir published in 1995, recounts
what happened during those historic times.
the Congo she and her husband immigrated to Argentina, where they
established a dairy farm. Her first novel, The Ombu Tree,
published in 1998, is based on her experiences farming in that
country. It is the tale of an American woman pioneer on the
pampas, confronting revolution and frontier justice as she
attempts to wrest a successful farm out of a haunted estancia surrounded
by a network of Nazi neighbors.
In 2009, this
book was translated into French by Candie
Boni and published by Lulu.
The book titled L'ombú can be purchased from
Marketplace or from Amazon.com.
Filmmaker, her second novel published in 2000, is the tragic
love story about an Academy-Award-winning filmmakerwho
became a victim of "McCarthyism" and subsequently "named
names" of former Communist Party colleagues before the House
Un-American Activities Committee.
Red-Eye Fever - Adventures in the Belgian Congo published
in 2002, Elise recounts tales of her adventures hunting crocodiles
in the Congo before it became independent in 1960 and introduces us
to some extraordinary people she met at that time.
next book titled Marie
Grandin - Sent By The King is a historical novel. Released
in 2003, it is loosely based on the life of her ancestor who arrived
in Quebec in 1670 to participate in Louis XIV's program to provide
wives for the men of his Canadian colony. Marie Grandin was one of
those famous pioneering women who later became known as the Filles
du Roi - Daughters of the King. This book can be purchased at
Marie Grandin book has been translated into French by Réal
Beaudet and is distributed by the Beaudet
Family Association under the title of Marie Grandin, Fille
du Ro. It was released in August 2005 during an annual meeting
of the association. To obtain your copy of the book, contact Real
Beaudet, 172 Rue Saint-Jean Baptiste. Leclercville, QC GOS 2KO or
at 819-292-2374. The cost (including postage) is $30.95 CAN.
A review of this book is
Two of her books, The Bearded Lion Who Roars and The Ombu
Tree are available on tape from the Library of Congress,
Talking Books Department, Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped.
Elise was also a contributor to Roots
- Racines - Késsinnimek, the online magazine edited
by Norm Leveillée.
- Marie Grandin "Sent by the King" - July 2004
- Marie Grandin "Sent by the King" - August 2004
You can also find out more about all Dallemagne-Cookson's books at
Elise passed away on November 30,
2005. At the time of her death, she was working on her sixth book
- the biography of the internationally acclaimed French artist, Jean
Tabaud, who died in 1996. It was to be based on his own memoir
of his life in France and Germany as a prisoner of war during World