Tag Archives: epilepsy

Fadiman, Anne. The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down: A Hmong Child, Her American Doctors, and the Collision of Two Cultures.

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When three-month-old Lia Lee Arrived at the county hospital emergency room in Merced, California, a chain of events was set in motion from which neither she nor her parents nor her doctors would ever recover. Lia’s parents, Foua and Nao Kao, were part of a large Hmong community in Merced, refugees from the CIA-run “Quiet War” in Laos. The Hmong, traditionally a close-knit and fiercely independent people, have been less amenable to assimilation than most immigrants, adhering steadfastly to the rituals and beliefs of their ancestors. Lia’s pediatricians, Neil Ernst and his wife, Peggy Philip, cleaved just as strongly to another tradition: that of Western medicine. When Lia Lee Entered the American medical system, diagnosed as an epileptic, her story became a tragic case history of cultural miscommunication.

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Year: 1997
ISBN-10: 0374525641

(spoiler alert)

B, David. Epileptic

epil epil3d

The most acclaimed European graphic novel of the last ten years, Epileptic is David B.’s story of his brother’s battle with epilepsy – but it turns into a penetrating and sometimes lacerating self-examination on the author’s part, as he delves into his own complex emotions and his family’s troubled history, as well as his own youthful fantasy life. Particularly pointed is his description of the family journey from one attempted cure to another, including acupuncture, spiritualism and macrobiotics.

Publisher: Jonathan Cape
Year: 2006
ISBN-10: 0224079204

(spoiler alert)

Dostoyevsky, F. The Idiot

Inspired by an image of Christ’s suffering, Dostoyevsky set out to create a protagonist with “a truly beautiful soul” and to trace the fate of such an individual as he comes into contact with the brutal reality of contemporary society. The novel begins when the innocent epileptic Prince Myshkin – the ‘idiot’ – arrives in St Petersburg and finds himself drawn into a web of violent and passionate relationships that leads to blackmail, betrayal and eventually murder.

Jonathan Lloyd HYMS: themes epilepsy, social class, ostracising effects of illness.

Penguin Classics
Yeaar: 2004
ISBN: 014044792X

(spoiler alert)