Third Place Books presents Deborah Tannen, in conversation with Joan Silber

Monday, October 5, 2020


Deborah Tannen, in conversation with Joan Silber: Finding My Father

Monday, October 5, 2020 - 5:00pm
Virtual Event


Long before she became an internationally renowned linguist at Georgetown University and the New York Times bestselling author of the groundbreaking book about women and men, praised by Oliver Sacks for having “a novelist’s ear for the way people speak,” Tannen was a young girl who deeply adored her father, Eli Tannen, profoundly influenced by his gift for writing and storytelling.

In Finding My Father: His Century-Long Journey From World War I Warsaw and My Quest to Follow, Tannen embarks on the poignant, yet perilous, quest to piece together the puzzle of her father’s life, uncovering secrets not even she could’ve expected — secrets that force Tannen to rethink her assumptions about her father’s life, her parents’ marriage, and the story she for decades told herself about her parents’ love story.

Beginning with his astonishingly vivid memories of the Hasidic community in Warsaw, where he was born in 1908, Tannen traces her father’s journey: arriving in New York City in 1920 at 12; quitting high school at 14 to support his mother and sister by working in a factory; through a vast array of jobs, including prison guard and gun-toting alcohol tax inspector; to eventually establishing a thriving law practice and running for Congress. Tannen follows her father through the trials of immigration, the Depression, the American Communist and Labor Movements — and the thicket of relations among men, women and sex, so different in his time than in her own.

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 bestsellers You’re Wearing THAT?, about mothers and daughters and You Were Always Mom’s Favorite!, about sisters; and many other books. 

A professor of linguistics at Georgetown University, she appears frequently on national television and radio and has been interviewed by 20/20, The Oprah Winfrey Show, NBC’s Today, NPR’s Fresh Air, The New York Times Magazine, USA Today, Newsweek, Time, and Harvard Business Review, among many others. She lives with her husband in the Washington, D.C., area.

Joan Silber is the author of eight books of fiction. The most recent, Improvement, won the National Book Critics Circle Award and the PEN/Faulkner Award. She also received the PEN/Malamud Award for Excellence in the Short Story. Her previous book, Fools, was longlisted for the National Book Award and a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award. The Size of the World was a finalist for the LA Times Fiction Prize, and Ideas of Heaven was a finalist for the National Book Award and the Story Prize. She’s also the author of The Art of Time in Fiction. Her new novel, Secrets of Happiness, will be published in May 2021. She lives in New York, taught for many years at Sarah Lawrence College, and teaches in the Warren Wilson MFA Program.


Finding My Father: His Century-Long Journey from World War I Warsaw and My Quest to Follow (Hardcover)
By Deborah Tannen
$28.00
ISBN: 9781101885833
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Ballantine Books - September 15, 2020 



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