National Press Club

Tannen Discusses "Sisters" Book

December 3, 2009 | By Joe Motheral |

Sometimes sisters are at odds, author Deborah Tannen said, but “despite terrible hurts you can come back together again.”

Tannen, author of "You were Always Mom’s Favorite, Sisters in Conversation Throughout their Lives" discussed her book at the Club Dec. 2.

She writes and speaks from experience because she has two older sisters. But to put together this book, she said, “I interviewed over 100 women with sisters.”

The theme that ran through all of her accounts involved connection and relationships with implications of closeness and competition. Some of the thoughts that came from her interviews when her subjects talked about their sisters: "She was always there when I needed her." Or "being with her is like being a kid again." Or "it brings up memories."

“One younger sister liked the color pink, her older sister liked blue, but really it was about green, because the grass is always greener…,” Tannen said.

Tannen is a professor of linguistics at Georgetown University and has appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show, NPR’s Diane Rehm and Susan Stromberg’s shows and has discussed "Sisters" on ABC News’ 20/20.