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Fever: A Novel Audiobook, by Mary Beth Keane Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Mary Beth Keane Narrator: Candace Thaxton Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: March 2013 ISBN: 9781442360884
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The “infectiously readable” (Vanity Fair) novel about the woman known as “Typhoid Mary,” who becomes, “in Keane’s assured hands…a sympathetic, complex, and even inspiring character” (O, The Oprah Magazine).

Mary Beth Keane, named one of the 5 Under 35 by the National Book Foundation, has written a spectacularly bold and intriguing novel about the woman known as “Typhoid Mary,” the first person in America identified as a healthy carrier of Typhoid Fever.

On the eve of the twentieth century, Mary Mallon emigrated from Ireland at age fifteen to make her way in New York City. Brave, headstrong, and dreaming of being a cook, she fought to climb up from the lowest rung of the domestic-service ladder. Canny and enterprising, she worked her way to the kitchen, and discovered in herself the true talent of a chef. Sought after by New York aristocracy, and with an independence rare for a woman of the time, she seemed to have achieved the life she’d aimed for when she arrived in Castle Garden. Then one determined “medical engineer” noticed that she left a trail of disease wherever she cooked, and identified her as an “asymptomatic carrier” of Typhoid Fever. With this seemingly preposterous theory, he made Mallon a hunted woman.

The Department of Health sent Mallon to North Brother Island, where she was kept in isolation from 1907 to 1910, then released under the condition that she never work as a cook again. Yet for Mary—proud of her former status and passionate about cooking—the alternatives were abhorrent. She defied the edict.

Bringing early-twentieth-century New York alive—the neighborhoods, the bars, the park carved out of upper Manhattan, the boat traffic, the mansions and sweatshops and emerging skyscrapers—Fever is an ambitious retelling of a forgotten life. In the imagination of Mary Beth Keane, Mary Mallon becomes a fiercely compelling, dramatic, vexing, sympathetic, uncompromising, and unforgettable heroine. Download and start listening now!

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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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About the Author

Mary Beth Keane was born in New York City to Irish parents and grew up in Rockland County, New York. She attended Barnard College and the University of Virginia, where she received an MFA in fiction. In 2011 she was named by Julia Glass to the National Book Foundation’s “5 under 35.” She is also the winner of the Chicago Tribune’sNelson Algren Prize and was a Pushcart Prize nominee. She lives in Pearl River, New York, with her husband and their two sons.

About the Narrator

Candace Thaxton is an actress and audiobook narrator. She has starred in several films and television shows, including Ghost Town and Law & Order.