Ngoc'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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Aug 16, 07

bookshelves: schooldays
Read in January, 2002

This book is sooo good! I especially like the story of Lina and her family and their struggles. I think the book could have been shorter if they didn't go into so much depth about the interworkings of the social service and medical systems. Yes it's messed up and cultural competency is lacking. I liked that it gave enough information to show how the family was treated injustly and Lina couldn't get the medical treatment she needed because the doctors and parents weren't communicating. They all wanted what was best for Lina, but in different ways and could not communicate/comprehend the other party. The little girl was the one that suffered most in the end. This was the first time I ever read of the Hmong people and that was fascinating. It is sad that their culture has been torn to shreds, just because people don't understand. Why must they understand all of it? Can't they respect a people and culture that has survived for thousands of years doing things how they've always done it? Just because it is 'different' than what is perceived to be "normal" or "mainstream"...
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