"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." --Richard Berstein, "The New York Times"
"So good I want to somehow make it required reading..."The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down "explores issues of culture, immigration, medicine, and the war in [Laos] with such skill that it's nearly impossible to put down." --Linnea Lannon, "The Detroit Free Press"
"This is a captivating riveting book--a must-read not only for medical professionals, anthropologists, and journalists, but for anyone interested in how to negotiate cultural difference in a shrinking world. Fadiman's ability to empathize with the resolutely independent Hmong as well as with the remarkable doctors, caseworkers, and officials of Merced County makes her narrative both richly textured and deeply illuminating. Sometimes the stakes here are multicultural harmony and understanding; sometimes they're literally life and death--whether in wartime Laos or in American emergency rooms. But whatever the stakes and wherever the setting, Fadiman's reporting is meticulous, and prose is a delight. From start to finish, a truly impressive achievement." --Michael Berube, author of "Life As We Know It"show more