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The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down: Common Read

Learn more about the 2017 Cal Maritime New Student Common Reading book

Check out a copy from the Library!

From the publisher:

The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down explores the clash between a small county hospital in California and a refugee family from Laos over the care of Lia Lee, a Hmong child diagnosed with severe epilepsy. Lia's parents and her doctors both wanted what was best for Lia, but the lack of understanding between them led to tragedy. Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Current Interest, and the Salon Book Award, Anne Fadiman's compassionate account of this cultural impasse is literary journalism at its finest.

More from the publisher

How was this book selected?

Common Reading Selection Committee, 2017

Michele Van Hoeck, Chair, Dean of Library

Julie Chisholm, Culture & Communication faculty

Britt Elliott, Marine Transportation faculty

Margot Hanson, Library faculty

Mike Holden, Mechanical Engineering faculty

Andre Jimenez, Bookstore

Elaine Kociolek, Student Engagement & Academic Support

Alex Parker, Science & Math faculty

Amy Parsons, Culture & Communication faculty

Martin Shimada, student

Aparna Sinha, Culture & Communication faculty

Calee Spinney, Residence Life

Marissa Sutro, Marine Transportation faculty

More about the Common Reading Program objectives, selection criteria, and finalists

About the Book

About the Author

Anne Fadiman

photo by Connie Miller