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Extended Audio Sample Fever: A Novel, by Mary Beth Keane Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Mary Beth Keane Narrator: Candace Thaxton Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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A bold, mesmerizing novel about the woman known as “Typhoid Mary,” the first known healthy carrier of typhoid fever in the early twentieth century—written by an award-winning writer whom the National Book Foundation on their “5 Under 35” list.

Mary Mallon was a courageous, headstrong Irish immigrant woman who bravely came to America alone, fought hard to climb up from the lowest rung of the domestic service ladder, and discovered in herself an uncanny, and coveted, talent for cooking. Working in the kitchens of the upper class, she left a trail of disease in her wake, until one enterprising and ruthless “medical engineer” proposed the inconceivable notion of the “asymptomatic carrier”—and from then on Mary Mallon was a hunted woman.

In order to keep New York’s citizens safe from Mallon, the Department of Health sent her to North Brother Island, where she was kept in isolation from 1907–1910. She was released under the condition that she never work as a cook again. Yet for Mary—spoiled by her status and income and genuinely passionate about cooking—most domestic and factory jobs were heinous. She defied the edict.

Bringing early twentieth-century New York alive—the neighborhoods, the bars, the park being carved out of upper Manhattan, the emerging skyscrapers, the boat traffic—Fever is as fiercely compelling as Typhoid Mary herself, an ambitious retelling of a forgotten life. In the hands of Mary Beth Keane, Mary Mallon becomes an extraordinarily dramatic, vexing, sympathetic, uncompromising, and unforgettable character.

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Quotes & Awards

  • Fever is a gripping, morally provocative story of love and survival that will take you by surprise at every turn. It is also a radiant portrait of a uniquely indomitable woman and of a uniquely tumultuous time in the history of our country. Bravely and brilliantly, Keane has brought to life the intimate human tragedy obscured by the scornful cliché ‘Typhoid Mary’; you will never utter those words again without remembering, and mourning, the real Mary Mallon.”

    Julia Glass, New York Times bestselling author

  • Fever manages to rescue a demonized woman from history and humanize her brilliantly. Mary Beth Keane brings to light a moving love story behind the headlines, and she carries the reader forward with such efficiency you will hardly notice how graceful are her sentences and how entwined you have become with this fascinating, heart-breaking story.”

    Billy Collins, New York Times bestselling author and former poet laureate of the United States

  • “Like the silent carrier who is its heroine, this novel is so quietly assured that you won’t suspect it capable of transmitting such violence. It will seize you with its breathtaking intensity, its authority, and its beating heart.”

    Eleanor Henderson, New York Times bestselling author

  • “As historical fiction, Fever seldom disappoints in capturing the squalid new world where love exists in a battlefield both biological and epochal.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “A memorable biofiction that turns a malign figure of legend into a perplexing, compelling survivor.”

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

  • Selected for the March 2013 Indie Next List
  • A San Francisco Chronicle Best Book of 2013 in Fiction
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