Typhoid Mary: An Urban Historical

Front Cover
Bloomsbury Publishing USA, Oct 17, 2010 - Biography & Autobiography - 160 pages
13 Reviews
From the host of Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown and bestselling author of Kitchen Confidential comes the true, thrilling story of Mary Mallon, otherwise known as the infamous Typhoid Mary.

This is a 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.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - DrJSH - LibraryThing

I really enjoyed Anthony Bourdain's take on Mary Mallon's life. (I cringe to refer to her as "Typhoid Mary.") The book isn't very long, but he did his homework and offered the perspectives of Mallon's ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - KendraFitz - LibraryThing

This was an interesting perspective on Typhoid Mary, a woman I didn't know much about before reading this book and hope to know more about now that I've finished. Read full review

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About the author (2010)

Chef, author, and raconteur Anthony Bourdain is best known for traveling the globe on his TV show Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown. Somewhat notoriously, he has established himself as a professional gadfly, bÍte noir, advocate, social critic, and pork enthusiast, recognized for his caustic sense of humor worldwide. He is as unsparing of those things he hates, as he is evangelical about his passions.

Bourdain is the author of the New York Times bestselling Kitchen Confidential and Medium Raw; A Cook's Tour; the collection The Nasty Bits; the novels Bone in the Throat and Gone Bamboo; the biography Typhoid Mary: An Urban Historical; two graphic novels, Get Jiro! and Get Jiro!: Blood and Sushi and his latest New York Times bestselling cookbook Appetites. He has written for the New Yorker, the New York Times, the Times of London, Bon Appetit, Gourmet, Vanity Fair, Lucky Peach and many other publications. In 2013, Bourdain launched his own publishing line with Ecco, Anthony Bourdain Books, an imprint of HarperCollins. He is the host of the Emmy and Peabody Award-winning docuseries Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown on CNN, and before that hosted Emmy award-winning No Reservations and The Layover on Travel Channel, and The Taste on ABC.