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The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down: A Hmong Child, Her American Doctors, and the Collision of Two Cultures - Community Reviews back

by Anne Fadiman
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Merle
Merle rated it 2 years ago
This is a fantastic work of journalistic nonfiction. It begins with a toddler, Lia Lee, living in California in the 1980s. The daughter of Hmong refugees, Lia begins suffering epileptic seizures as an infant, but her treatment goes wrong as her parents and the American doctors are unable to understa...
Momster Bookworm
Momster Bookworm rated it 6 years ago
This book is in equal parts eye-opening and cringe-worthy. The latter because the reader has the benefit of seeing both views of different cultures: Western medicine and cultural beliefs / superstition -- and their inevitable clash, on account of their inability to meld. Caught in between is the lif...
nouveau
nouveau rated it 8 years ago
Medical books seem to get high ratings. Emperor of maladies has an average 4.33 but severe narratology problems in second half. Many patients reading in hospitals probably.Looks to be error. By tartar straux..., Waugh iPad spell correct t. Farrar straux2/5 but readership loves this bookokkay got of...
Myrto
Myrto rated it 8 years ago
Wow, I had heard good things about this book, but I didn't expect to be so moved by this alternately fascinating and frustrating story. The author does a fantastic job of telling the story from both points of view: the American doctors' and the Hmong family's. She manages to present both groups symp...
Jill
Jill rated it 8 years ago
The most important and difficult moment of this book:"That's tyranny," said Sukey. "What if you have a family who rejects surgery because they believe an illness has a spiritual cause? What if they see a definite possibility of eternal damnation for their child if she dies from surgery? Next to that...
viim
viim rated it 9 years ago
Deep respect for the tremendous amount of research that went into this book. Fadiman's clear journalistic style is also something I wished I'd encountered earlier, in a CNF writing class, to show that a engaging story can be created without a messy flaunting of the the "I". Her character is a quiet ...
Chrissie's Books
Chrissie's Books rated it 9 years ago
Having now finished the book, I know Lia's fate. You must read the book to find out. No spoilers here!It is important to note that this book should be read by those not only interested in anthropology and how medical practices could/should be improved, but also those wanting to learn more about the ...
wealhtheow
wealhtheow rated it 10 years ago
The youngest child of Hmong immigrants has severe epilepsy. Fadiman starts telling that story, then doubles back to tell the reader about the history of the Hmong people and their beliefs. Then she resolves Lia's story, tracing her passage through the medical and foster care systems. It's beautif...
A Reader's Adventure
A Reader's Adventure rated it 10 years ago
Wow, it was powerful, scary, disturbing, and terrifying. I cannot image being put into that situation. Be it Lia's poor parents. The doctors who did not know what to do. I cannot imagine it. These problems need to be resolved. I know they are being resolved but, they need to be resolved even faster.
paigeawesome
paigeawesome rated it 10 years ago
This was an amazing book. I'd read another book about the Hmong, The Latehomecomer: A Hmong Family Memoir, and enjoyed it very much. I told my roommate at the time about it and she gave me (let me borrow?) this one. She told me it was required reading for all social service agencies in our county du...
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