Carol Dunlop was born in Quincy, Massachusetts. She attended Lake Erie College in Painesville, Ohio and later graduated from McGill University in Montreal, Canada. She married François Hebert, a writer, with whom she had one son and settled in Montreal. The couple divorced in the 1970s and she eventually moved to Paris. She met Argentine writer and activist Julio Cortázar in Canada in 1977 and married him in 1981. She accompanied Cortázar on trips to a number of destinations and sometimes traveled without him. In 1982, they took a 33-day, 800-kilometre trip in their Volkswagen camper van from Paris to Marseille along the Autroroute du Soleil, never leaving the freeway, and exploring each of its 65 rest areas. They co-authored a now-classic book illustrated with their photos and her son Stéphane's drawings called Autonauts of the Cosmoroute, first published in 1983. Carol died shortly after the end of the trip at age 36. Among her other works were a novel, Melanie dans le Miroir (1980); and Llenos de Niños los Árboles (1983), reporting on the lives of children in Nicaragua, also co-authored with Cortázar.