The Hmong population have been emigrating to the United States for decades, basically forced to leave Laos after the Vietnam War because of their anti-Communist stand with the West. Over the years, they settled in different pockets around the country — mainly northern California and the upper Midwest. And that’s caused a culture clash in some communities, a clash that author Anne Fadiman describes in the book The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down
. In it, a small epileptic child is at the center of a debate over medical treatment and language translation among other things. The book has been selected as a discussion book on campus of UAB and Fadiman will give a lecture on her book at the Alys Stephens Center tonight at 7:00. WBHM’s Steve Chiotakis spoke with Fadiman about the book and the little known-Hmong people and why many were forced to come to America in the first place.