JACQUELINE COOPER: Author-Artist (née Klat) was born in Alexandria. Both her parents were Egyptian of Lebanese and Syrian descent.
Her first book “Cocktails and Camel,” (Penname Jacqueline Carol) a witty autobiography of her youth in Alexandria was published in New York 1960 to excellent reviews. It was resurrected in 2008 by the Bibliotheca Alexandrina to preserve the nostalgia and memory of the old cosmopolitan city. Preface and new cover by the author. Copies may be obtained from the Bibliotheca. (Out of print originals fetch some $120 on Internet.)
FOR ADULTS: “Tales From Alexandria.” (1994) “Scribbles—Workshop Assignments And Other Miseries.” (2004) “Le Crazy Cat Saloon.” (2005) “You Never Know…Moments.” (2008)
FOR CHILDREN: “Angus And The Mona Lisa,” a picture book. A cat flies to Paris to look up his French ancestors and saves the Mona Lisa from being stolen. Nice reviews. Translated into Japanese.
“Toby And The Escalade” (1997) Bilingual picture book on Geneva’s most important historical event. The Duke of Savoy attempts to capture Geneva on a cold December night by climbing its high walls with ladders. But Mother Royaume throws her pot of boiling hot vegetable soup on the heads of the enemy… Geneva now celebrates with 3 days of festivities and chocolate soup pots filled with marzipan vegetables.
Also bilingual: “Cat Day/Fête des Chats.” (1998) “William Tell/Guillaume Tell.” (1999)
“Kevin and The Escalade Race.” (2001)
JACQUELINE COOPER was in Washington, D.C. from 1960-1990 where she brushed up on her artistic skills at the Corcoran School of Art. Her 40 or so humorous exhibits depicted cats as doctors, dentists, lawyers, accountants, etc., who all spoke franglais and went about their business with great joie de vivre in streets with French names. She designed cards for UNICEF and The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Short stories on Alexandria were aired on the BBC and printed in The Christian Science Monitor.
She moved to Geneva in 1990 to be nearer family, and to her doctor daughter and 3 grandsons in England. She joined the “American Women’s Club” Writers Workshop and, in 1993 Susan Tiberghien’s “Geneva Writers Group.” She has regularly appeared in its anthology OFFSHOOTS, often with stories on Alexandria.
She is a member of P.E.N. “The Society of Women Writers and Journalists” (UK) and “La Société Genevoise des Ecrivains.
JACQUELINE COOPER says she was never driven. “The books and whimsical cats came purring at my door. I just let them in.”
Read a short story by Jacqueline Cooper: On Being Sick
COCKTAILS AND CAMELS
By Jacqueline Carol
Published by Bibliotheca Alexandrina
Reviewed by Penny Legg
THE WOMAN WRITER – June 2009
It is seldom that I cannot put a book down, more seldom still that I find gems within a publication worthy of reading aloud to my husband, usually enjoying a tome of his own.
Cocktails and Camels by Jacqueline Carol, an abridged version of the original published by Appleton-Century-Crofts in1960, managed to tick both boxes and kept us enthralled from cover to cover.
Written in a flowing style that literally carries the reader from one situation to another, this book is, simply, fun. The reader learns about the author’s comfortable life, whilst history, politics and encroaching war all loom large over her home, Alexandria, Egypt.
Told in chronological order, the reader hears of the author’s schooldays in the French Convent, where climbing was deemed the only acceptable sport for girls and was in the basement, of holidays spent in touring Europe and of being ‘eligible.’ Rich characters of her youth, in particular the dashing English governess, Mrs. James with her tales of being adrift on the Caribbean Sea in a trunk, abound.
In all, Jacqueline Carol has excelled. The book is sometimes laugh aloud hilarious, at others thought provoking, but always keeps the reader glued to the page. This book is not to be missed.
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