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Random House Publishing Group, Fall 2018

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You're the Only One I Can Tell
Inside the Language of Women's Friendships
By (author): Deborah Tannen
9781101885826 Paperback, Trade English General Trade FAMILY & RELATIONSHIPS / Friendship Aug 28, 2018
$24.00 CAD
Active 5.45 x 8.24 x 0.63 in 304 pages Ballantine Ballantine Books
Named one of the top nonfiction books of the year by The Washington Post, a fascinating decoding of the conversational styles of female friends that will them understand and strengthen their bonds, by the New York Times bestselling author and internationally-revered professor of linguistics at Georgetown University.

“At a time when the messages we give and get have so many more ways to be misconstrued and potentially damaging, a book that takes apart our language becomes almost vital to our survival as friends.” The Washington Post

New York Times bestselling author Deborah Tannen reveals the “language” of female friends, deconstructing conversations among friends—from casual chatting to private confiding, in person, on the phone, and via social media. She shows the styles of conversation that help or hinder closeness, and the patterns of miscommunication and anxiety we express through our talk at different points in our lives.

Publication History: Ballantine HC (5/17)

HARDCOVER SUCCESS: In hardcover, it hit Washington Post bestseller list and was also named to their 50 notable works of nonfiction list for 2017.

BESTSELLING TRACK RECORD: Tannen’s You Just Don’t Understand was on The New York Times bestseller list for nearly four years and has been translated into 31 languages. You’re Wearing That? spent 10 weeks on the Times bestseller list; and You Were Always Mom’s Favorite! hit both the Times and Washington Post lists.

REVEALS AND CODIFIES THE LANGUAGE OF FRIENDS: Tannen’s research shows that the ways female friends talk to and lean on one another evolve over time (and what experiences trigger change in the friendship).

POIGNANT STORIES OF MODERN COMMUNICATION: Tannen interviewed eighty women—ages 9 to 97 and of a wide range ethnicities and backgrounds—and tells their stories about how they talk to their female friends in person, over the phone, and on social media.

BELOVED AND TRUSTED EXPERT: An internationally renowned authority on linguistics, Tannen has been interviewed for 20/20, The Oprah Winfrey Show, Today, Fresh Air with Terry Gross, The New York Times Magazine, USA Today, Newsweek, Time, and Harvard BusinessReview, among many others.

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; the New York Times bestseller on mother-daughter communication You’re Wearing That?; I Only Say This Because I Love You; and many other books. A professor of linguistics at Georgetown University, she appears frequently on national television and radio. She lives with her husband in the Washington, D.C., area.

Author Residence: Washington, DC

Author Hometown: Brooklyn, NY

Marketing: Online marketing outreach

Social media campaign

Random House e-newsletters and websites

Major book club outreach



Publicity: New in Paperback

Online review and feature attention

NPR Campaign

Author Op-Eds



Author Website: deborahtannen.com

Author Social Media: FB: bit.ly/2psLguZ

“Men will enjoy and profit from this book as much as women will…. The moral of these stories [is that] the need for friendship is forever, no matter what forms it takes. Friends come and go, but those who allow us to be unself-consciously ourselves? Hamlet understood. We grapple them to our souls with hoops of steel.”The Wall Street Journal

“A book about friendship that is also interested in the miscommunication that can so complicate it…The language, in this book about language, is saturated with concepts that apply equally well to romance in its more traditional forms. The language, too, celebrates friendship in its frustrations and its rewards and, above all, its wonderful complexity. It is promoting friendship from a supporting character into a starring role…. A few years ago, the writer Emily Rapp argued that ‘friendships between women are often the deepest and most profound love stories, but they are often discussed as if they are ancillary, “bonus” relationships to the truly important ones.’ They are still, too often, discussed in that way. But not always. Not anymore. And here, through [Deborah] Tannen’s consideration of the communication that informs those relationships, is further evidence of that. The loves that the linguist explores in her romantically named book are not merely ones that comfort and sustain women until, one day, the real thing comes along. They are the real thing.”The Atlantic

“At a time when the messages we give and get have so many more ways to be misconstrued and potentially damaging, a book that takes apart our language becomes almost vital to our survival as friends.”The Washington Post

“With knowledge and wisdom, the author helps readers navigate the subtle workings of language in interactions among women…. Tannen sets out to help women make friendships stronger, accomplishing this in a highly accessible manner with both scientific research and a warm heart…. Firmly recommended for students of women’s studies and for every woman committed to the gift of enduring friendships.”Library Journal

“Tannen addresses women’s tendency to seek and make bonds, the way secrets and talk of personal troubles can act as currency in this process, the subtle balance between connection and competition between female friends, and much more…. [Her] extensive research and writing, full of thought-provoking questions along with facts, are sure to hook readers enticed by her rich topic.”Booklist

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