Discussion Book 2005

The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down by Anne Fadiman

Students, faculty, and staff from across campus are engaged in a shared learning experience, reading Anne Fadiman’s critically acclaimed The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down, and discussing the issues raised by UAB's inaugural discussion book.

The goal of the project, an initiative developed as part of UAB’s Quality Enhancement Plan, is to unite the UAB community by promoting civic involvement and the practice of open, safe, respectful dialogue about often controversial issues. The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down is the ideal UAB discussion book because it examines the challenges faced by medical practitioners and the parents of Lia Lee, the three-month-old daughter of Hmong refugees living in California, when the child’s diagnosis of epilepsy sets in motion a conflict between the cultural beliefs and practices of her parents and the tenets of modern Western medicine.

In partnership with Books-A-Million, UAB has provided all incoming freshmen and first-year medical and health professions students with free copies of the book. A variety of activities are planned throughout the academic year, including discussion groups led by medical and academic faculty and staff.

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