Jürg Federspiel

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Jürg Federspiel
Born (1931-06-28)June 28, 1931
Kemptthal, Canton Zurich
Died February 25, 2007(2007-02-25) (aged 75)
Basel, Switzerland
Occupation Writer
Nationality Swiss
Genre short story, historical novel, poetry
Notable works The Ballad of Typhoid Mary

Jürg Federspiel (28 June 1931 – 12 January 2007) was a Swiss writer, born in Kemptthal, Canton Zurich. Federspiel authored more than 20 novels and short story collections.[1]

Federspiel grew up in Davos and attended secondary school in Basel. From 1951 he worked as a journalist and film critic for several Swiss newspapers, and spent time in Germany, France, Great Britain, Ireland and the USA.

His first notable work was a collection of short stories, Orangen und Tode ("Oranges and death") in 1961.[2] In the English-speaking world his best-known work was The Ballad of Typhoid Mary.[1] A historical novel about the life of Mary Mallon, it was published in German in 1982, and published in English translation in 1983 by Random House.[3]

Towards the end of his life, he lived alternately in Basel and New York City. His last published book was Mond ohne Zeiger ("Moon without hands"), a collection of poetry in 2001. He suffered for years with severe diabetes and Parkinson's disease.[1]

Federspiel died on 25 February 2007 in Basel, having been missing since 12 January 2007. The cause of death was assumed to be suicide.[2]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Jürg Federspiel, Who Wrote 'Typhoid Mary,' Dies at 75". New York Times. 28 February 2007. Retrieved 11 September 2011. 
  2. ^ a b Jürg Federspiel tot aufgefunden, NZZ Online, retrieved 2011-09-11 
  3. ^ Belling, Catherine (2008-07-21). "Literature, Arts, and Medicine Database -- Federspiel, J. F. -- The Ballad of Typhoid Mary". New York University. Retrieved 11 September 2011.