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." --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
After this ethnography/narrative about Hmong living in LA, you will never think the same again about cross cultural perspectives on health and healing again. Read morePublished on June 14 2013 by JVines
One of the best books I have read. An amazing analysis of one little girls journey of illness and care, one family's amazing story, one community's struggles to adapt and sruvive... Read morePublished on May 12 2011 by Edison Chen
Excellent book. A classic and a must for those working in the Healthcare field. Gives insights into cultural issues which influence the care experience.Published on Nov. 21 2010 by Anita Punamiya
As a student looking to go to medical school, I found this book to be an eye opening experience. It really points out the need for empathy for other cultures, languages and... Read morePublished on May 30 2004 by DeAnna F.
I may be too optimistic, but I've grown to believe that bigotry isn't always practiced by bad people, but often by good people ignorant of cultures other than their own. Read morePublished on May 2 2004 by Amazon Customer
This is such a beautifully-written, captivating, eye-opening book about a clash of two cultures: American and Hmong. Read morePublished on March 18 2004
This book is a must read. It is thought provoking, educational and hard to describe. I kept wanting to place judgement on the doctors, then I wanted to place judgement on The... Read morePublished on Feb. 23 2004 by C. Davidson