YOU'RE WEARING THAT?                                                     Understanding Mothers and Daughters in Conversation

They are the best of conversations; they are the worst of conversations.  Talk between mothers and grown daughters can be both.

Why do adult daughters complain that their mothers always criticize, while mothers feel hurt that their daughters shut them out? Why do mothers and daughters critique each other on the Big Three-hair, clothes, and weight - while longing for approval and understanding? Why does each want to be seen for who she really is, while blaming the other for falling short of who she should be?  This book answers these and many other questions, explaining why a remark that would be harmless coming from anyone else can cause an explosion when it comes from your mother or your grown daughter.

With groundbreaking insights, pitch-perfect dialogues, and deeply moving memories of her own mother, who passed away while she was writing this book, Tannen untangles the knots daughters and mothers can get tied up in. Readers will appreciate the humor as they see themselves on every page and come away with real hope for breaking down barriers and opening new lines of communication.  Eye-opening and heartfelt, this book shows why these relationships are so fraught and what daughters and mothers can do to make their conversations—and their relationships—better.

in the media

Read Deborah Tannen's article in The Washington Post Outlook Section

Listen to Deborah Tannen's feature with Susan Stamberg on NPR's Morning Edition

Listen to Deborah Tannen's live interview on NPR's The Diane Rehm Show


“Deborah Tannen decodes the veiled insults, hmms, and oh, reallys? between mothers and daughters.  The implications behind the spoken words are so familiar, it hurts when you laugh.” 
O Magazine 
 “The effect of [Tannen's] anecdotes and analysis is to reassure her readers that they are not alone.” 
The Wall Street Journal

“[Tannen] describes the intense connections between mothers and daughters - and how we press each other's buttons.” 
Good Housekeeping

“So many women say, 'I thought when my daughter grew up we'd be friends,' says Deborah Tannen. In her new book , she explores why this can be tough and what can help.” People Magazine

Buy the Book:

Barnes & Noble / Penguin RandomHouse

Find an Independent Bookseller Near You

Also Available:

Abridged audiobook read by the author

Unabridged Audiobook



Arabic/Obeikan Research & Development, Brazil/Elsevier, Czech Republic/Zoner Press, Denmark/Akademisk Forlag, Germany/Random House, Greece/Enalios, Holland/Prometheus; Bert Bakker, Israel/Triwaks, Italy/Frassinelli, Korea/Wisdomhouse Mediagroup , Poland/Gdanskie Wydawnictwo, Spain/RBA Libros, Sweden/Optimal Forlag