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You're Wearing That?


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About the Author

Deborah Tannen is the acclaimed author of You Just Don't Understand, which was on the New York Times bestseller list for nearly four years; I Only Say This Because I Love You, which won the Books for a Better Life Award; Talking from 9 to 5, a New York Times bestseller; That's Not What I Meant!; and many other books. A professor of linguistics at Georgetown University, she appears frequently on such shows as The Oprah Winfrey Show, Today, Good Morning America, Nightline, 20/20, and NPR's All Things Considered. She lives with her husband in the Washington, D.C., area. Her website is
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The conversation expert addresses a relationship where the talk can really get tough. With a five-city tour. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

Tannen (You Just Don't Understand; That's Not What I Meant; etc.) continues to study human interaction through conversation, this time attempting to peel back the layers of meaning that make up conversations between mothers and their teenage and older daughters. While Tannen intends to clarify the ways in which mothers and daughters relate to each other verbally (through direct conversation; indirect messages, or "metamessages"; compliments or insults disguised as judgment; etc.), her own message is muddled by an overabundance of anecdotes and examples and too much stating the obvious. In chapters such as "My Mother, My Hair: Caring and Criticizing" and "Best Friends, Worst Enemies: A Walk on the Dark Side," Tannen seeks to examine every angle of various discussions and makes obvious comments, like "Where the daughter sees criticism, the mother sees caring.... Most of the time, both are right." She then expands on her comment with lengthy and often unnecessary explanations. While Tannen is astute in her observation that "Our relationships with our mothers go on way beyond their lifetimes, no matter what age we are when we lose them," she fails to clear up the mysteries between mothers and daughters. Agent, William Morris. (On sale Jan. 24) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

"The 'metamessages'--implications behind the spoken words--she decodes in You're Wearing THAT? Understanding Mothers and Daughters in Conversation are so familiar, it hurts when you laugh." --Cathleen Medwick, O Magazine

Deborah Tannen's groundbreaking book You Just Don't Understand improved male-female relationships about, oh, 100 percent. Now she's poised to do the same for moms and daughters in You're Wearing THAT? Understanding Mothers and Daughters in Conversation. Listen, and get ready to make peace! --Kimberly Tranell, Glamour "The illuminating extracts from mother-daughter colloquies that she cites bring to life both the soothing ointment and the ripped-open scars possible in interchanges on ... age-old sources of conflict for this extraordinarily intense kind of relationship." --Whitney Scott "Tannen analyzes and decodes scores of conversations between moms and daughters. These exchanges are so real they can make you squirm as you relive the last fraught conversation you had with your own mother or daughter. But Tannen doesn't just point out the pitfalls of the mother-daughter relationship, she also provides guidance for changing the conversations (or the way that we feel about the conversations) before they degenerate into what Tannen calls a mutually aggravating spiral, a "self-perpetuating cycle of escalating responses that become provocations." - The San Francisco Chronicle

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