Nicole Cleary's Reviews > The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down: A Hmong Child, Her American Doctors, and the Collision of Two Cultures

The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down by Anne Fadiman
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's review
Sep 08, 2011

really liked it
Read in September, 2011

I loved this book ~ an engaging and sad story of a Hmong family's experience of their daughter's Lennox Gastaut seizure syndrome as addressed by the U.S. medical system interwoven with the broader story of the Hmong people's historical and immediate experience coming to the U.S. from Laos. The struggles of the family and the medical professionals caring for the girl are both heartbreaking and completely sympathetic on both sides. There are no heroes. There are no villains. There is just a group of people individually doing what they think is best, and in the process failing to hear or understand each other or meet the needs of this child. As a parent of a child with a seizure disorder (thankfully much more mild than this one), this story particularly touched me.

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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by Zoe (new)

Zoe I loved this book! I read it a long time ago as part of my anthropology studies.

message 2: by Jane (new)

Jane       True Nicole, I am so glad you read this. I loved it as well, and found very interesting the Hmong culture's attitude toward those who experience seizures as being some sort of s "god" or at least having a direct line to their god. Quite different from our culture, which tends to ostracize and totally misunderstand people such as our daughters.I find Ann Fadiman's writing beautiful, and the combination of her incredible writing style and this very touching story made for a very moving read. Jane

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