About this item

The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down explores the clash between a small county hospital in California and a refugee family from Laos over the care of Lia Lee, a Hmong child diagnosed with severe epilepsy. Lia's parents and her doctors both wanted what was best for Lia, but the lack of understanding between them led to tragedy. Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Current Interest, and the Salon Book Award, Anne Fadiman's compassionate account of this cultural impasse is literary journalism at its finest. The current edition, published for the book's fifteenth anniversary, includes a new afterword by the author that provides updates on the major characters along with reflections on how they have changed Fadiman's life and attitudes.



About the Author

Anne Fadiman

Anne Fadiman is the Francis Writer-in-Residence at Yale. Her most recent book is "The Wine Lover's Daughter," a memoir about her father that the Washington Post called "wonderfully engaging" and Christopher Buckley called "the best family memoir yet to come out of the Baby Boom generation." Her first book, "The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down," is an account of the unbridgeable gulf between a family of Hmong refugees and their American doctors. It won the National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction, among other awards. Fadiman is also the author of two essay collections. The London Observer called "Ex Libris" "witty, enchanting, and supremely well-written." NPR said of "At Large and At Small," "Fadiman is utterly delightful, witty and curious, and she's such a stellar writer that if she wrote about pencil shavings, you'd read it aloud to all your friends."



Read Next Recommendation

Discuss with your friends


Report incorrect product information.