Born in Sandhofen, Germany, in 1925, Maria Magdalene Anderson always wanted to be a writer and teachers at school encouraged her. She won an Arts scholarship to study painting and dress designing at the University of Fine Arts, Berlin but the outbreak of World War II prevented her completing it. She arrived in Australia from Germany in 1968 and adopted the name Marlene. She married Hungarian writer Andras Dezsery and for a time they lived at 181-184 Barton Terrace, North Adelaide. They later separated.
Biographical notes in English and Other Than English (1979) say that as a 'playwright, author, artist and globe-trotter, Marlene Dezsery writes and illustrates children's stories and plays. Her short stories and poems have been published in England and Australia.' In addition to the work listed below she has written an (unpublished) novel, With Whom Lili Marlene? and she edited the Glenelg newspaper, Glenelg Pageant.