Fever, a Novel about Typhoid Mary

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Mary Beth Keane discusses her new novel, Fever, about the woman known as “Typhoid Mary.” Mary Mallon emigrated from Ireland at age 15 to make her way in New York City. She became a cook for the aristocracy until a “medical engineer” noticed that she left a trail of disease wherever she cooked. 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.