An Urban HistoricalBook - 2001
Recounts the story of Mary Mallon, an immigrant cook considered responsible for the 1904 outbreak of typhoid fever in Oyster Bay, Long Island, and describes her attempts to escape capture and institutionalization.
From the best-selling author of Kitchen Confidential comes this true, thrilling tale of pursuit through the kitchens of New York City at the turn of the century.
By the late nineteenth century, it seemed that New York City had put an end to the outbreaks of typhoid fever that had so frequently decimated the city's population. That is until 1904, when the disease broke out in a household in Oyster Bay, Long Island. Authorities suspected the family cook, Mary Mallon, of being a carrier. But before she could be tested, the woman, soon to be known as Typhoid Mary, had disappeared. Over the course of the next three years, Mary worked at several residences, spreading her pestilence as she went. In 1907, she was traced to a home on Park Avenue, and taken into custody. Institutionalized at Riverside Hospital for three years, she was released only when she promised never to work as a cook again. She promptly disappeared.
For the next five years Mary worked in homes and institutions in and around New York, often under assumed names. In February 1915, a devastating outbreak of typhoid at the Sloane Hospital for Women was traced to her. She was finally apprehended and reinstitutionalized at Riverside Hospital, where she would remain for the rest of her life.
Typhoid Mary is the story of her infamous life. Anthony Bourdain reveals the seedier side of the early 1900s, and writes with his renowned panache about life in the kitchen, uncovering the horrifying conditions that allowed the deadly spread of typhoid over a decade. Typhoid Mary is a true feast for history lovers and Bourdain lovers alike.
Blackwell North Amer
Monster, victim, feminist icon, cold-blooded murderer - Mary Mallon, forever immortalized as Typhoid Mary, has been called many things. And yet no one has ever focused on one of the most obvious and revealing aspects of her story. Mary Mallon was, first and foremost, a cook. Who better to explore what this might have meant than Anthony Bourdain?
In 1904, an outbreak of typhoid fever in Oyster Bay, Long Island, puzzled officials who thought they had put an end to the deadly disease. After an intensive investigation, the family cook became the prime suspect, but before she could be tested, Mary Mallon disappeared. So begins a thrilling tale of pursuit through the kitchens of New York City at the turn of the century.
As he tells Mary's tale - she is chased, captured, institutionalized, released, and chased again - Bourdain humanizes a much misunderstood woman, bringing her to life by vividly describing the context in which she lived and the obstacles she surely faced as a poor immigrant trying to make it in a man's world.