The spirit catches you and you fall down book summary

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the spirit catches you and you fall down book summary

The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down - Wikipedia

All rights reserved. So here's the background. Back in the homeland, Nao Kao and Foua oh and don't forget about twelve of Lia's siblings lived in a small house "that [Nao Kao] had built from ax-hewn planks thatched with bamboo and grass" 1. Sounds luxurious. In , , members of the Hmong ethnicity—the Lees included—were forced from their homes after "their country fell to communist forces" 1. They haven't been back since.
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The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down

There are two different stories happening in The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down. A good portion of the book is spent recounting Hmong history. We watch.

The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down

The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down tells the story of Lia Lee , a Hmong child with epilepsy, whose tragic demise reveals the dangers of a lack of cross-cultural communication in the medical profession. When Lia was around three months old, her older sister Yer slammed a door and Lia had her first seizure. Her parents, Foua and Nao Kao, believed that the noise of the door had caused her soul to flee. They diagnosed her illness as qaug dab peg, "the spirit catches you and you fall down. They brought her for treatment to the Merced Community Medical Center MCMC , but they also utilized traditional healing methods and engaged a tvix neeb to call back her soul.

A good portion of the book is spent recounting Hmong history. We watch as these folks are driven from China for refusing to assimilate its culture, then eventually make their way to the mountains of Laos. We watch as the Vietnam War destabilizes the region, forcing the Hmong to fight for the U. We watch as their communities are decimated by communist forces, forcing the Hmong to risk life and limb to make it to America. Their daughter Lia is born and tragedy strikes: she has frequent seizures and is diagnosed with epilepsy. Lia's treatment is complicated by Nao Kao's and Foua's inability to speak English, making it all but impossible to communicate with her doctors. Ultimately, everything comes to a head when Lia's doctor, Neil Ernst, gets fed up with this lack of communication and sends Lia into a foster home.

Free summary and analysis of Chapter 1 in Anne Fadiman's The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down that won't make you snore. We promise.
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The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down - Why this will always be my favorite book

In Robert Entenmann, of St. Olaf College wrote that the book is "certainly the most widely read book on the Hmong experience in America. On the most basic level, the book tells the story of the family's second youngest and favored daughter, Lia Lee, who was diagnosed with a severe form of epilepsy named Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome and the culture conflict that obstructs her treatment. Through miscommunications about medical dosages and parental refusal to give certain medicines due to mistrust, misunderstandings, and behavioral side effects, and the inability of the doctors to develop more empathy with the traditional Hmong lifestyle or try to learn more about the Hmong culture, Lia's condition worsens. The dichotomy between the Hmong's perceived spiritual factors and the Americans' perceived scientific factors comprises the overall theme of the book. The book is written in a distinctive style, with every other chapter returning to Lia's story and the chapters in-between discussing broader themes of Hmong culture, customs, and history ; American involvement in and responsibility for the war in Laos; and the many problems of immigration, especially assimilation and discrimination. While particularly sympathetic to the Hmong, Fadiman presents the situation from the perspectives of both the doctors and the family.

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    The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down by Anne Fadiman Plot Summary | LitCharts

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