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The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down
The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down: A Hmong Child, Her American Doctors, and the Collision of Two Cultures | Anne Fadiman
When three-month-old Lia Lee arrived at the county hospital emergency room in Merced, California, a chain of events was set in motion from which neither she nor her parents, Foua and Nao Kao, were part of a large Hmong community in Merced, refugees from the CIA-run "Quiet War" in Laos. The Hmong, traditionally a close-knit and fiercely independent people, have been less amenable to assimilation than most immigrants, adhering steadfastly to the rituals and beliefs of their ancestors. Lia's pediatricians, Neil Ernst and his wife, Peggy Philip, cleaved just as strongly to another tradition: that of Western medicine. When Lia Lee entered the American medical system, diagnosed as an epileptic, her story became a tragic case history of cultural miscommunication.
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kgriffith
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“When you are on the other side, You will not be like what you were before you get through the Mekong. On the other side you cannot say to your wife, I love you more than my life. She saw! You cannot say that anymore! And when you try to restick this thing together it is like putting glue on a broken glass.”

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kgriffith
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“When it became apparent that there would be no more planes, a collective wail rose from the crowd and echoed against the mountains. The shelling of Long Tieng began that afternoon. A long line of Hmong, carrying their children and old people, started to move across the plateau, heading toward Thailand.”

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kgriffith
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I don‘t know how this is the first time a college class I‘ve taken has prioritized vocabulary building: not memorization of terms, though I imagine some of that is inevitable, but being asked to bring a word we didn‘t know from the reading in to class. I can‘t tell you how many words I understand well enough from context that I don‘t bother looking up, but then I‘m not likely to remember or use them either, without looking up and writing down.

LogiKitty I saw that word recently too! 1d
34 likes1 comment
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kgriffith
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“‘And how long have you had these headaches?” asked one bored doctor. His Hmong patient replied matter-of-factly, ‘Ever since I got shot in the head.‘”
I cackled. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

brandybear22 This is a very good book. I didn‘t realize it was on your reading list for school. 5d
kgriffith @brandybear22 yes, for medical anthropology. I was waitlisted, but she was able to add me after the first meeting. 5d
35 likes2 stack adds2 comments
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kgriffith
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This is just charming, I love it.

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kgriffith
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Got home late but still need to get some reading done for class. Xander is helping, per usual. #catsofLitsy

CoffeeK8 This book was amazing! 1w
kgriffith @CoffeeK8 I‘m really enjoying it so far! 1w
cariashley 😻 so cute! 1w
See All 8 Comments
Come-read-with-me @kgriffith This book took my breath away. A wonderful exploration of culture and perception of disability. 1w
kgriffith @Come-read-with-me I‘m really focusing in on the differences between how Fadiman addresses cultural difference and how other anthropologists I‘ve read do so. Also her prose is just 😮😍💜 1w
Come-read-with-me @Kgriffith I agree! She is astounding. 1w
theredshoes That book is AMAZING. 5d
45 likes1 stack add8 comments
blurb
4thhouseontheleft
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1. The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down by Anne Fadiman
2. Ability to time travel
3. ♓️
4. 📚 ☕️ 🚲 🚶🏻‍♀️
5. 🤙🏼🤙🏼

#friyayintro

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saguarosally
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2. Probably one of the Minions movies?
3. This summer, Polar Seltzer and hot dogs.
4. No clue. Maybe 25-ish, but then there are their children, their grandchildren, their great grandchildren...
5. 👌 #friyayintro @howjessreads

Beatlefan129 Great book recommendation. I read it while I was in nursing school and it really stayed with me (edited) 2mo
saguarosally @Beatlefan129 I was also thrilled to meet the author at a book festival a few months ago! 2mo
40 likes2 comments
review
ReadingEnvy
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Pickpick

What an incredible read! A clash of Western medicine with Hmong culture, exasperated by a lack of translators, cultural understanding, and education on both sides. ⤵️

ReadingEnvy Anne Fadiman shows how the situation involving one very sick child went wrong and makes suggestions as to more effective ways to communicate and provide care. I really enjoyed learning about the Hmong family in particular, and their own methods of parenting and treating the sick. ⤵️ 5mo
ReadingEnvy The author suggests that millenia of Hmong people refusing to be assimilated effects the challenges facing Hmong refugees in their new environments, so she covers quite a bit of Hmong history, particularly in Laos, and how that intersects with American history thanks to "The Secret War." This is going to be a great book club discussion! 5mo
Theaelizabet Good review. I‘ve had this one on my shelves for such a long time. It‘s been highly recommended by so many. I must get to it. 5mo
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ReadingEnvy @Theaelizabet I‘m really glad I finally did. 5mo
MaureenMc I just finished this book a couple of weeks ago. Found it absolutely fascinating! 5mo
ReadingEnvy @MaureenMc so fascinating! I liked in particular how sometimes the Hmong medicine was more effective. 5mo
Christine LOVE this book - the most meaningful/memorable thing I read for my graduate work in the sociology of medicine. 5mo
ReadingEnvy @Christine are you a medical sociologist? The book mentioned medical anthropologists and we all.agreed that sounded like an interesting job! 5mo
Christine My doctoral work was in the sociology of science/sociology of medicine, though motherhood and life circumstances have turned me into more of a generalist now. 😉 But I‘m still very interested in both areas, and agreed re: medical anthropology being a fascinating field! So much going on beneath the surface in these areas. 5mo
65 likes4 stack adds9 comments
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saguarosally
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2. No way, I could spend my time reading.
3. 41F. I‘m convinced this place has like eight months of winter.
4. Right now, I could go for tzatziki toast.
5. 👋👋👋

@howjessreads #friyayintro

Hoopiefoot What‘s tzatziki toast?? Sounds great! 6mo
saguarosally @Hoopiefoot I have no clue, I guess it would just be like putting tzatziki on toast. 6mo
38 likes1 stack add2 comments
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saguarosally
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I‘m joining in anyway whether y‘all like it or not. 😂

1. Northeastern Massachusetts, but it‘s not where I live. I‘m just there right now.
2. Oh come now, that‘s like trying to pick a favorite child. 😂 I‘m just going to go with the general nonfiction genre.
3. Again, lol. I‘m on a J. A. Jance kick today.
4. See tagged. If you have not read it, go read it. It‘s vital.

#socialsunday @EchoLogical

Carolyn11215 One of my all-time non-fiction fave books!! 7mo
saguarosally @Carolyn11215 And so very important. 7mo
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EchoLogical I can answer fav book, author, and kid but I'll admit the answer totally depends on when you ask me.😆 7mo
zsuzsanna_reads Thanks for the recommendation, I must read this book! I used to use cases from the Hmong as examples for a university course I used to teach on multiculturalism AND I like Fadiman's writing. 7mo
saguarosally @EchoLogical Of course! Now favorite kid, it would always have been not me. 7mo
43 likes1 stack add7 comments
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StephBengtson
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review
longisland_mom
Pickpick

Medicare for all + give your money to refugees

review
jessinikkip
Pickpick

I wont say much because this is a book for my #LMPBC group, but this was such a GOOD book. I laughed, I cried and enjoyed everything I learned from it

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jessinikkip
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Trying to get back into reading after my snowstorm slump. We spent several days at the in-laws and I just have zero motivation to read over there. Is it just me or does everyone have that place you find you just CAN NOT read in?

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jessinikkip

@Book_Lust I got the book today for #LMPBC Round 004! I cant wait to start reading!!!!

Book_Lust Yayyy! I loved it, enjoy 😊 9mo
13 likes1 comment
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Book_Lust
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2 hour delay, thanks to the first snow fall of the year! ❄️ 7:37 am, Green Tea Matcha, and my #lmpbc #round4 read.

Bklover Cozy! 10mo
25 likes1 stack add1 comment
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charl08
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Jaw dropping cultural misunderstandings.

ReadZenRites Ouch! 😱 12mo
the_hibernator I read this one long ago. Don't remember much, but it was interesting. 12mo
charl08 @ReadZenRites @the_hibernator had a great afterword about what had happened after the book was published. 11mo
48 likes4 stack adds3 comments
review
mpensees
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Pickpick

I didn‘t expect to like this book so much. Definitely an eye opener to our ignorance. #mustread

29 likes1 stack add
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peacegypsy
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I‘ve been intrigued by this book for years, and I finally bought a copy. Summer TBR stack! 😊

arubabookwoman You are in for a real treat, as well as an eye opener with this. 1y
peacegypsy @arubabookwoman Thanks for the heads up! 😊 1y
37 likes2 comments
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Lindsy
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Some 🍵 and morning reading for my mental health book club. This one feels especially relevant for my work right now.

Johanna414 I loved this book! It‘s still one I think about almost a decade after reading it 2y
Lindsy @Johanna414 I‘m really liking it so far! I work on a pediatric psychiatry unit, and it is soooo relevant. 2y
9 likes2 comments
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DanStank1
Pickpick

Good book. Left a lasting impression.

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FairyHighRoad
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This is a wonderful nonfiction book about a Hmong family of #refugees who have a sick child. The author does a great job explaining the difficulties refugees face, not only with the US medical system, but also when the two cultures clash. #junebookbugs

13 likes1 stack add
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Wannabe_Quijote
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Pickpick

Not a light read, but an important one. I think it might work its way onto my syllabus. #LitsyAtoZ #LetterW #TeachersOfLitsy #ReadTheWorld

BookMusings Syllabus of which course? 2y
Wannabe_Quijote @BookMusings Cultural Psychology 2y
12 likes1 stack add2 comments
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Wannabe_Quijote
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#Sancho would much prefer I come to bed than read. #DogsOfLitsy #ReadTheWorld

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Wannabe_Quijote
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The best reading buddy anywhere! #Sancho #DogsOfLitsy

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Wannabe_Quijote
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Nowhere near the coldest night of the year but I'm freezing and huddled under the comforter. That lump you see is #Sancho warming up my feet ;)

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Wannabe_Quijote
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Two visiting munchkins and #Sancho share the air mattress tonight. I guess I get the couch. #dogsoflitsy #springbreak #teachersoflitsy

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Wannabe_Quijote
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Family comes to visit, so I get the air mattress on the floor. And with an 8 and 7 year old plus 15-month-old twins here for the week, I'm pretty sure my snowpacalypse isn't going to be a quiet one!

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Wannabe_Quijote
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Sneakily watching me eat Girl Scout cookies while I read. #Sancho #dogsoflitsy

12 likes1 stack add
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Wannabe_Quijote
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Seven hours of sleep is enough before a Monday morning, right? Six?

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Wannabe_Quijote
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I'm doing an independent study course with a student about culture and health. This is our next read! #teachersoflitsy #readdiversity

haileybean This sounds really interesting! I'm curious to see how you like it! 3y
Wife Has been on my TBR. It does sound good. 3y
20 likes1 stack add2 comments
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saguarosally
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I thought I couldn't hit fifty. I think I'll try for 100 books in 2017. The book referenced above was my favorite read of 2016 by far. It's a fascinating look at cultural factors in healthcare. #culturalcompetency #hmong #bestof2016

RiotMom 🙌🏻🙌🏻🙌🏻 3y
BookNerdBritt Nice! I read 92 this year and am going for 100 next year too. 3y
Megabooks Awesome!! 👍🏻👍🏻 3y
saguarosally @BookNerdBritt This was my first year trying to track my reading. I suspect it's time to sign up for a readathon. 😂 3y
35 likes2 stack adds5 comments
review
mday
Pickpick

One of my favorites that I have recommended several times. A powerful story of profound miscommunication between cultures.

review
everlocalwest
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Pickpick

Loved this book! Fadiman does an amazing job of looking at these two cultures and withholding judgement. She's got a couple essay collections that I really need to check out because the writing was great as well.

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ApoptyGina69
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No readathon for me-working all weekend. This amazing book is my pick for #immigrantstories. I'd never heard of the Hmong people from Laos until reading it although I grew up about 35 miles from where it takes place. It's non-fiction about a family trying to provide healthcare for their very ill daughter and all the confusion and frustration surrounding their everyday lives. #booktober

Curley_Bender Fascinating book. 3y
33 likes4 stack adds1 comment
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GuiltyFeat
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An amazing and prize-winning read that I'm thrilled to recommend as my #longtitle for #booktober.

And I've just noticed that the cover is blurbed by Sherwin Nuland who I read after reading about him in Paul Kalanithi's book. I love book tag.

Lakesidemusing Great choice. Great book, too!! 3y
37 likes5 stack adds1 comment
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saguarosally
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I was going to highlight some interesting quotes, but then I realized that I was lying in a dark room and the book I was reading was one of those paper books. I vaguely remember paper books?😜 #ebooks #paperbooks #oldschool

MrBook Lol! 😎👌🏻 3y
13 likes1 comment
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saguarosally
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This strikes me as a work that is seminal in the field of cultural competency in healthcare settings. So far I have to frequently remind myself that these healthcare providers are operating at a different time, with the timeline of this child beginning in 1982. In some ways it is more surprising how much things have changed.

Zelma This was a fascinating book, and, like you pointed out, very much a product of the time it was written/experienced. 3y
saguarosally @Zelma It is so interesting to think about how much has changed since that time, not so long ago. I'm older than Lia. 3y
16 likes1 stack add2 comments
review
EmilyG
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Pickpick

Finally finished over lunch today. Really enjoyed this exploration of how differing cultures can influence medical care!

CAGirlReading I loved this book!💯 3y
4 likes1 comment
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Mamashep
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Hit up my local library book sale. Because I need more books, right?

LitHousewife Great haul! 3y
Sara_Planz You always need more books. Lol 3y
See All 6 Comments
Riveted_Reader_Melissa I always go to mine too and I always cart home more books too! 3y
Mamashep @Riveted_Reader_Melissa I always take cash, not a check, so I have some way to keep from getting carried away! But it is my go-to for audiobooks at only $2 a piece. 3y
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @Mamashep That is definitely worth it! 3y
23 likes2 stack adds6 comments
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EmilyG
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Currently reading The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down, but these are just a few of the other books is like to read this summer.

CAGirlReading I loved this book! It is an excellent example of the disconnect at times between the scientific mindset of doctors and the beliefs of their patients. 3y
mrldg This is on required reading lists at some nursing schools, what a great book. 3y
2 likes2 comments