You're Wearing That? Understanding Mothers and Daughters in Conversation

Deborah Tannen, Author . Random $25.95 (272p) ISBN 978-1-4000-6258-4

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)

Reviewed on: 10/24/2005
Release date: 01/01/2006
Hardcover - 433 pages - 978-0-7393-2602-2
Downloadable Audio - 1 pages - 978-1-4159-5353-2
Paperback - 272 pages - 978-1-84408-406-7
Paperback - 279 pages - 978-0-8129-7266-5
Compact Disc - 978-0-7393-1371-8
Ebook - 157 pages - 978-1-58836-521-7
Paperback - 256 pages - 978-986-5695-35-4
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