The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down (1997), Fadiman's first book, chronicles the trials of an epileptic Hmong child and her family living in Merced, California. Fadiman's sensitive, incisive treatment of the unbreachable gulf between the Hmong and American medical systems won her a National Book Critics Circle Award. The Washington Post called the book "an intriguing, spirit-lifting, extraordinary exploration."
Her essays and articles have appeared in Harper's, The New Yorker, and The New York Times, among many other publications. She has won National Magazine Awards for both reporting and essays. Anne Fadiman is the editor of the 2003 edition of Best American Essays.
For seven years Anne Fadiman edited The American Scholar, the venerable literary quarterly that has been published since 1932 and described by The New York Times as “an intellectual giant.” In 2005 she began as the first Francis Writer in Residence at Yale. Anne Fadiman is currently editing Rereadings, a collection of essays originally published in The American Scholar in which seventeen writers all chose a book they’d originally read before the age of 25 and reread it later in life. She is also editing a collection of her own essays.