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The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down (1997)

af Anne Fadiman

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
4,0941152,116 (4.23)309
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 nor her doctors would ever recover. Lia's 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 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. Parents and doctors both wanted the best for Lia, but their ideas about the causes of her illness and its treatment could hardly have been more different. The Hmong see illness and healing as spiritual matters linked to virtually everything in the universe, while medical community marks a division between body and soul, and concerns itself almost exclusively with the former. Lia's doctors ascribed her seizures to the misfiring of her cerebral neurons; her parents called her illness, qaug dab peg--the spirit catches you and you fall down--and ascribed it to the wandering of her soul. The doctors prescribed anticonvulsants; her parents preferred animal sacrifices.… (mere)
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» Se også 309 omtaler

Engelsk (112)  Piratisk (1)  Alle sprog (113)
Viser 1-5 af 113 (næste | vis alle)
Excellent narrative non-fiction about cross-cultural communication and understanding. Very much my type of book. I got bogged down a bit with the military and political history in Laos, though I know that is important for context. Fadiman is a fabulous writer and I will read anything she writes. I also felt like this was a timely book that reflects the medical community in the YK Delta where I currently live. It was very familiar and I know many physicians here would relate. ( )
  JustZelma | Dec 20, 2020 |
Worth reading, esp for the medical community, but it dragged 2/3 through. ( )
  newnaturalmama | Nov 15, 2020 |
Brilliant and sympathetic look at cultural differences and how they play out in ways that challenge the lifestyle and established norms we take for granted. ( )
  CarrieWuj | Oct 24, 2020 |
I wouldn't say that I liked or loved this book. I read it for a class and it upset me. The writing is good, and the story is powerful, so it deserves a good rating, but it isn't a gentle book. Parents and those with family members with seizure disorders or traumatic brain injuries should be especially careful while reading it. ( )
  Noeshia | Oct 23, 2020 |
My book club read this a few years ago and it was one of our best discussions. I highly recommend it. ( )
  baruthcook | Aug 26, 2020 |
Viser 1-5 af 113 (næste | vis alle)
If tragedy is a conflict of two goods, if it entails the unfolding of deep human tendencies in a cultural context that makes the outcome seem inevitable, if it moves us more than melodrama, then this fine book recounts a poignant tragedy.
 
Ms. Fadiman tells her story with a novelist's grace, playing the role of cultural broker, comprehending those who do not comprehend each other and perceiving what might have been done or said to make the outcome different.
 
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If Lia Lee had been born in the highlands of Laos, where her parents and twelve of her brothers and sisters were born, her mother would have squatted on the floor of the house that her father had built from ax-hewn planks thatched with bamboo and grass. (Chapter 1 - Birth)
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"Of course, Martin had undergone an equally unseemly metamorphosis himself, from savant to bumbler.  It was as if, by a process of reverse alchemy, each party in this doomed relationship had managed to convert each other's gold into dross."  pg. 223
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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 nor her doctors would ever recover. Lia's 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 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. Parents and doctors both wanted the best for Lia, but their ideas about the causes of her illness and its treatment could hardly have been more different. The Hmong see illness and healing as spiritual matters linked to virtually everything in the universe, while medical community marks a division between body and soul, and concerns itself almost exclusively with the former. Lia's doctors ascribed her seizures to the misfiring of her cerebral neurons; her parents called her illness, qaug dab peg--the spirit catches you and you fall down--and ascribed it to the wandering of her soul. The doctors prescribed anticonvulsants; her parents preferred animal sacrifices.

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