Deborah Tannen is best known as the author of You Just Don't Understand: Women and Men in Conversation, which was on The New York Times Best Seller list for nearly four years, including eight months as No. 1, and has been translated into 24 languages. The book brought gender differences in communication style to the forefront of public awareness.
Her book Talking from 9 to 5: Women and Men in the Workplace: Language, Sex, and Power, a New York Times Business Best Seller, does for the workplace what the earlier book did for women and men talking at home. She has also made a training video, Talking 9 to 5.
Among the topics on which she has published books and articles are spoken and written language, doctor-patient communication, cross-cultural communication, modern Greek discourse, the poetics of everyday conversation, and the relationship between conversational and literary discourse. Her sixteenth book, The Argument Culture, was published by Random House in March, 1999.
MacNeil/Lehrer, 20/20, 48 Hours, CBS News, ABC World News Tonight, Oprah, Good Morning America, CNN, Larry King and NPR are among the major television and radio shows on which Dr. Tannen has appeared.
In addition, she has been featured in and written for most major newspapers and magazines including The New York Times, Newsweek, USA Today, People, The Washington Post, The Harvard Business Review, and Time.
Dr. Tannen has lectured all over the world. Her audiences have included corporations such as Corning, Chevron, Motorola, and Rolm (Siemens), as well as the Board of Trustees of The Wharton School, the National Association of Women Judges, the National Association of Presidents of Women's Colleges, the Women Students' Organization of the Harvard Business School, and a gathering of United States senators and their spouses.
An internationally recognized scholar, she is University Professor and Professor of Linguistics at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.
Dr. Tannen is Associate Editor of Language in Society and Discourse Processes, and is on the editorial boards of many other journals. She is also an advisory editor of the book series, Oxford Studies in Sociolinguistics.
She has received fellowships and grants from the Rockefeller Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Science Foundation, the Danforth Foundation, and the American Council of Learned Societies, and has been McGraw Distinguished Lecturer at Princeton University.
She was a fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences in Stanford, California, following a term in residence at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey. She received her Ph.D. in linguistics from the University of California, Berkeley in 1979.
In addition to her linguistic research and writing, she has published poetry, short stories, and personal essays. Her first play, "An Act of Devotion," is included in The Best American Short Plays: 1993-1994. It was produced, together with her play "Sisters," by Horizons Theater in Arlington, VA, May-June 1995.