Book Club: The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down

“Books at Bowers: Touring Through the Pages” is a Bowers Docent Guild sponsored book club. Join a docent-led book discussion for members.

The next book selection is The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down: A Hmong Child, her American Doctors and the Collision of Two Cultures, by journalist Anne Fadiman, copyright 1997, 341 pages.

In this meticulously researched account by an acclaimed journalist the encounter between a Hmong refugee family in Merced, California and the western medical doctors treating their daughter for epileptic seizures is described from both perspectives of Western Medicine and Eastern Spirituality. The questions explored revolve around attitudes toward treating disease and treating illness, and how language, social customs, and religion of a culture are factors in healing illness. After reading this winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award, physician and author Sherwin B. Nuland wrote, “There’s a big difference between what we call ‘disease’ and what we call ‘illness.’ A disease is a pathological entity; an illness is the effect of the disease on the patient’s entire way of life.”

Free for members. To RSVP, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Space is limited to 25 Bowers members. This meeting will be virtual and take place via Zoom. A confirmation email with directions to access the meeting will be sent to participants.

Event details

April 15, 2021 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm