Ms. Mary M. Krautter
Professional Librarian, Research, Outreach, and Instruction, University Libraries
The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down: A Hmong Child, Her American Doctors and the Collision of Two Cultures
by Anne Fadiman
I have attended many workshops on cross-cultural communication and racism, and I have learned much. This book had an even more significant impact and changed my perceptions in a very profound way. In this nonfiction account, a deep love and commitment to the welfare of a child is shared by Hmong parents and American physicians, but misunderstandings and frustrations arise because of the cultural divide and lack of understanding and communication. This isn’t a simple story with heroes and villains, but a painful exploration of moral and cultural complexity. This powerful book is a reminder that life does not always have easy answers, but that we must attempt to bridge cultural gaps and deepen our understanding of others.