The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down


Anne Fadiman

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May Ying Xiong Character Analysis

Fadiman’s interpreter, or—in Sukey Waller’s words—“cultural broker.” May Ying is a twenty year old clerk-typist at the Merced County Office of Refugee Services when Fadiman first meets her. Her recently-deceased father was a well-respected txiv neeb—or shamanistic healer—who used to seize so hard during his healing rituals that two people had to hold him down. This renders May Ying the perfect interpreter for Fadiman’s interest in Lia’s epilepsy.
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May Ying Xiong Character Timeline in The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down

The timeline below shows where the character May Ying Xiong 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
...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 runner-up in a national Miss Hmong pageant. Because Blia Yao... (full context)