The Spirit Catches You And You Fall Down
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Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction 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 and fiercely 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 aand 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.
A study in the collision between Western medicine and the beliefs of a traditional culture focuses on a hospitalized child of Laotian immigrants whose belief that illness is a spiritual matter comes into conflict with doctors' methods.
In At Large and At Small, Anne Fadiman returns to one of her favorite genres, the familiar essay—a beloved and hallowed literary tradition recognized for both its intellectual breadth and its miniaturist focus on everyday experiences. With the combination of humor and erudition that has distinguished her as one of our finest essayists, Fadiman draws us into twelve of her personal obsessions: from her slightly sinister childhood enthusiasm for catching butterflies to her monumental crush on Charles Lamb, from her wistfulness for the days of letter-writing to the challenges and rewards of moving from the city to the country. Many of these essays were composed "under the influence" of the subject at hand. Fadiman ingests a shocking amount of ice cream and divulges her passion for Häagen-Dazs Chocolate Chocolate Chip and her brother's homemade Liquid Nitrogen Kahlúa Coffee (recipe included); she sustains a terrific caffeine buzz while recounting Balzac's coffee addiction; and she stays up till dawn to write about being a night owl, examining the rhythms of our circadian clocks and sharing such insomnia cures as her father's nocturnal word games and Lewis Carroll's mathematical puzzles. At Large and At Small is a brilliant and delightful collection of essays that harkens a revival of a long-cherished genre.
In The Wine Lover’s Daughter, Anne Fadiman examines—with all her characteristic wit and feeling—her relationship with her father, Clifton Fadiman, a renowned literary critic, editor, and radio host whose greatest love was wine. An appreciation of wine—along with a plummy upper-crust accent, expensive suits, and an encyclopedic knowledge of Western literature—was an essential element of Clifton Fadiman’s escape from lower-middle-class Brooklyn to swanky Manhattan. But wine was not just a class-vaulting accessory; it was an object of ardent desire. The Wine Lover’s Daughter traces the arc of a man’s infatuation from the glass of cheap Graves he drank in Paris in 1927; through the Château Lafite-Rothschild 1904 he drank to celebrate his eightieth birthday, when he and the bottle were exactly the same age; to the wines that sustained him in his last years, when he was blind but still buoyed, as always, by hedonism. Wine is the spine of this touching memoir; the life and character of Fadiman’s father, along with her relationship with him and her own less ardent relationship with wine, are the flesh. The Wine Lover’s Daughter is a poignant exploration of love, ambition, class, family, and the pleasures of the palate by one of our finest essayists.
Is a book the same book-or a reader the same reader-the second time around? The seventeen authors in this witty and poignant collection of essays all agree on the answer: Never. The editor of Rereadings is Anne Fadiman, and readers of her bestselling book Ex Libris (FSG, 1998) will find this volume especially satisfying. Her chosen authors include Sven Birkerts, Allegra Goodman, Vivian Gornick, Patricia Hampl, Phillip Lopate, and Luc Sante; the objects of their literary affections range from Pride and Prejudice to Sue Barton, Student Nurse. Each has selected a book or a story or a poem--or even, in one case, the lyrics on the back of the Sgt. Pepper album--that made a deep impression in his or her youth, and reread it to see how it has changed in the interim. (Of course, what has really changed is the reader.) These essays are not conventional literary criticism; they are about relationships. The relationship between reader and book is a powerful one, and as these writers attest, it evolves over time. Rereadings reveals at least as much about the reader as about the book: each is a miniature memoir that focuses on that most interesting of topics, the protean nature of love. And as every bibliophile knows, no love is more life-changing than the love of a book.
With a focus on client-centred care, this book provides an introduction to developing cultural competence in the health care setting. A unique presentation covering both theory and practice, the book begins with a strong foundational model for understanding culture. It then introduces general knowledge on culture which can be provided to a variety of settings, and ends with clinical applications illustrating how to apply knowledge and awareness to a variety of populations. With contributions from twelve leading experts, material is drawn from a wide range of health care settings and has strong practical coverage throughout. Unique approach: looks at populations the way health care workers encounter them, not by ethno-cultural/religious labels Multidisciplinary approach to writing reflects a variety of perspectives and direct front-line experience Discussion is broad and inclusive, integrating different perspectives, but also makes visible the different paradigms used to approach the topic Case studies and questions encourage critical thinking and dialogue
Anne Fadiman is--by her own admission--the sort of person who learned about sex from her father's copy of Fanny Hill, whose husband buys her 19 pounds of dusty books for her birthday, and who once found herself poring over her roommate's 1974 Toyota Corolla manual because it was the only written material in the apartment that she had not read at least twice. This witty collection of essays recounts a lifelong love affair with books and language. For Fadiman, as for many passionate readers, the books she loves have become chapters in her own life story. Writing with remarkable grace, she revives the tradition of the well-crafted personal essay, moving easily from anecdotes about Coleridge and Orwell to tales of her own pathologically literary family. As someone who played at blocks with her father's 22-volume set of Trollope ("My Ancestral Castles") and who only really considered herself married when she and her husband had merged collections ("Marrying Libraries"), she is exquisitely well equipped to expand upon the art of inscriptions, the perverse pleasures of compulsive proof-reading, the allure of long words, and the satisfactions of reading out loud. There is even a foray into pure literary gluttony--Charles Lamb liked buttered muffin crumbs between the leaves, and Fadiman knows of more than one reader who literally consumes page corners. Perfectly balanced between humor and erudition, Ex Libris establishes Fadiman as one of our finest contemporary essayists.
Quicklets: Your Reading Sidekick! This Hyperink Quicklet includes an overall summary, chapter commentary, key characters, literary themes, fun trivia, and recommended related readings. ABOUT THE BOOK Anne Fadiman’s seminal work of nonfiction, The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down, examines the myriad difficulties and complications that arise when two radically different cultures come in to contact with one another. However, the author contextualizes these larger clashes within a much more intimate, and ultimately human, story: that of the travails of a Hmong family, the Lees, who came to the United States in the 1970’s from Laos as political refugees, and settled in Merced, California. The Hmong are an ethnic group that inhabited the mountainous and densely forested highlands of Southeast Asia. They originally hailed from the southern mainland of China as one of the sub-populations of the Miao ethnicity, but were were relentlessly subjugated and brutalized by the Han peoples, who have long been the dominant ethnic group in the area. This eventually drove them far south to the highlands of China, Vietnam, Laos and Thailand, where the borders between these countries are practically non-existent. MEET THE AUTHOR Marcin Ossowski is a native of Merced, California, a town located at the foot of the Sierra Nevada Mountains and home to the newest University of California campus. He finished his undergraduate work at UCLA in 2007 and majored in linguistics and neuroscience, respectively. EXCERPT FROM THE BOOK In accordance with Hmong tradition, Lia’s name was given to her three days after her birth, in a ceremony called hu plig, translated as “soul-calling.” Perhaps more accurately, this is described as the tradition whereby the soul is installed in the newborn child. The Hmong believed that the most common cause of illness was the loss of the soul since humans are bound to yaaj-yang, the earthly realm, and can not travel freely to yeeb-yin, the spiritual realm. However, the body is deeply bound to the soul, and both are equally bound to life; this bond of all three was necessary for health and happiness. However, the soul could be, in turn, flighty, skittish or even easily stolen; those who possessed the ability to maintain their unity with the soul were deeply blessed. Furthermore, the souls of babies were especially prone to disappearance or kidnapping. This was always done at the hands of malevolent spirits known as dab, and the guarding of one’s spirit and its crucial bond with soul and body was a profound fixture in the Hmong cultural identity... Buy a copy to keep reading!