The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down

by

Anne Fadiman

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Blia Yao Moua Character Analysis

A Hmong community leader in Merced, and the director of an organization—Lao Family Community—that helps Hmong people apply for job training, navigate the bureaucratic difficulties of receiving public assistance, and stay up-to-date with news from Laos and Thailand. Like Jonas Vangay, he earned a master’s degree from a French university before moving to California. Blia’s father, the “administrative leader” of a Laotian city, was assassinated by the Pathet Lao—a communist army—when Blia was only nine years old. He tells Fadiman, whom he introduces to the Lee family, that he dreams of creating Hmongtown, a section of Merced devoted to Hmong culture and living. Unfortunately, Fadiman eventually discovers that Blia has tired of his stressful work in Merced; not long after resigning from Lao Family Community, he moves to Minnesota.
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Blia Yao Moua Character Timeline in The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down

The timeline below shows where the character Blia Yao Moua appears in The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 8: Foua and Nao Kao
Cultural Values, Spirituality, and Medicine  Theme Icon
Blame and Power Theme Icon
Integration and Assimilation Theme Icon
...broker,” somebody who could integrate Fadiman into the Hmong community. A local Hmong leader named Blia Yao Moua , a friend of Sukey’s, introduced Fadiman to May Ying Xiong, a twenty-year-old clerk-typist and... (full context)
Chapter 12: Flight
Cultural Values, Spirituality, and Medicine  Theme Icon
Integration and Assimilation Theme Icon
Fadiman describes Blia Yao Moua , the Hmong leader in Merced who arranged her initial meeting with the Lees. When... (full context)
Chapter 16: Why Did They Pick Merced?
Integration and Assimilation Theme Icon
Fadiman discusses Blia Yao Moua and Jonas Vangay, two other successful Hmong leaders in Merced. Blia was the executive director... (full context)
Chapter 17: The Eight Questions
Cultural Values, Spirituality, and Medicine  Theme Icon
...the case that these two cultures were irreconcilable in this situation. She evokes an idea Blia Yao Moua presented to her that Hmong culture is not Cartesian, which is to say that it... (full context)