On the books-you-may-have-missed shelf: a young Hmong girl and western medicine
Nora Flaherty just sent me a NY Times obituary for Lia Lee, who died August 31 at the age of 30. Never heard of her? Well, unless you’ve read Anne Fadiman‘s 1997 National Book Circle Award-winning The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down, or, attended medical school in the past 20 years, there’s really no way Lia Lee would have crossed your radar. The book explores the conflict between Hmong immigrant culture and American medical practice. But that is really too simplistic.
About ten years ago, my son and a college friend were reading Fadiman’s extraordinary work of narrative non-fiction and were so moved by it, they shared it with everyone they knew, including me. I would have missed it otherwise. If you missed it, find it at your library or bookseller or download it. It’s been in continuous print and reprint since 1997.
Let’s consider this blog a place where you can add titles we may have missed…and shouldn’t have. Let’s compile a list of “go back and find these.” Tell us why you still think and care about a book you may have read years or decades ago–a book that many of us may not have read back when it was first published.