Featured Profile

Anne Fadiman
Francis Writer in Residence
Yale University

Anne Fadiman is an author, essayist, editor, and teacher. Her first book, The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down, 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." The book continues to be taught at universities both as literary journalism and as a casebook for cross cultural sensitivity in general; it is also widely read by medical practitioners who wish to offer more effective care to patients from other cultures.

As the inaugural Francis Writer in Residence, Yale University’s first endowed appointment in nonfiction writing, Anne Fadiman serves as both a professor in the English department and a mentor to students considering careers in writing or editing.

Her best-selling essay collection Ex Libris: Confessions of a Common Reader is a book entirely about books — from the purchasing of them, to the reading of them, to the handling of them (always write in the margins; go ahead and crack the spines; pay no mind if you drop crumbs between the pages; shelve American literature alphabetically by author, English literature chronologically). The London Observer called Ex Libris "witty, enchanting, and supremely well-written." It has been or will be translated into thirteen languages, including Korean and Catalan.

For seven years Anne Fadiman edited The American Scholar, the venerable literary quarterly, described by The New York Times as “an intellectual giant.” 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 both the 2003 edition of Best American Essays and Rereadings: Seventeen Writers Revisit Books They Love (2005). An essay collection, entitled At Large and At Small: Familiar Essays, was published in June, 2007.

Recent Contributions by Anne Fadiman