Literary nonfiction forms are used by authors to successfully convey their message. Whether the author chooses personal opinion, a sense of place or biographical sketch, each form reveals essential information about the topic. By utilizing many forms in the same literary piece, the author can create a very compelling narrative. This fusion of literary forms is exactly what Deborah Tannen achieved in her article submitted to The Washington Post, June 24, 1990. She uses personal experience, personal opinion, and personal reflection throughout the body of her work.
Deborah Tannen opens her article “Sex, Lies and Conversation; Why Is It So Hard for Men and Women to Talk to Each Other” by writing about an event she personally witnessed. This unbiased experience not only lends credibility, it enables the reader to almost participate in that event. Within the opening paragraph, Ms. Tannen particularly focuses on one specific part of the evening in, which in her words, “…crystallizes the irony that although American men talk more than women in public situations…this pattern is wreaking havoc with marriages.” She is using personal experience to demonstrate her authority on this subject as well as establishing the readers’ trust.
In addition to Ms. Tannen’s personal experience, she discusses her own research regarding the topic. She is able to offer an educated, personal opinion concerning this “current crisis” by often referring to various studies she had conducted, as well as several resources she used to frame her opinion.
The conclusion of the essay provides Ms. Tannen the opportunity to personally reflect on the evidence she collected and offers a justifiable solution. She suggests, “In these times of resurgent ethnic