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The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down: A Hmong Child, Her American Doctors, and the Collision of Two Cultures (FSG Classics) by [Fadiman, Anne]
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The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down: A Hmong Child, Her American Doctors, and the Collision of Two Cultures (FSG Classics) Kindle Edition

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Length: 362 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Lia Lee was born in 1981 to a family of recent Hmong immigrants, and soon developed symptoms of epilepsy. By 1988 she was living at home but was brain dead after a tragic cycle of misunderstanding, overmedication, and culture clash: "What the doctors viewed as clinical efficiency the Hmong viewed as frosty arrogance." The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down is a tragedy of Shakespearean dimensions, written with the deepest of human feeling. Sherwin Nuland said of the account, "There are no villains in Fadiman's tale, just as there are no heroes. People are presented as she saw them, in their humility and their frailty--and their nobility."

From School Library Journal

YA?A compelling anthropological study. The Hmong people in America are mainly refugee families who supported the CIA militaristic efforts in Laos. They are a clannish group with a firmly established culture that combines issues of health care with a deep spirituality that may be deemed primitive by Western standards. In Merced, CA, which has a large Hmong community, Lia Lee was born, the 13th child in a family coping with their plunge into a modern and mechanized way of life. The child suffered an initial seizure at the age of three months. Her family attributed it to the slamming of the front door by an older sister. They felt the fright had caused the baby's soul to flee her body and become lost to a malignant spirit. The report of the family's attempts to cure Lia through shamanistic intervention and the home sacrifices of pigs and chickens is balanced by the intervention of the medical community that insisted upon the removal of the child from deeply loving parents with disastrous results. This compassionate and understanding account fairly represents the positions of all the parties involved. The suspense of the child's precarious health, the understanding characterization of the parents and doctors, and especially the insights into Hmong culture make this a very worthwhile read.?Frances Reiher, Fairfax County Public Library, VA
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Product details

  • File Size: 1174 KB
  • Print Length: 362 pages
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (September 30, 1998)
  • Publication Date: September 30, 1998
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003OYIA9M
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #18,430 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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