Elgin Book Reviews and Links

This list is not exhaustive and is narrowed to books I consider important.

Gentle Art Books
Much of Dr. Suzette Haden Elgin's work has been to try to make her "gentle art" accessible to lay persons. These books are powerful and readily understood by most readers.  I have found them extremely valuable in my practice and have seen them work for a substantial number of clients and friends.
  • The Gentle Art of Communicating with Kids, Published by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.  If you have children, you need to have read this book.
  • -- the book on how to be a grandmother (or just a grandparent).  In a world where we often did not grow up with the right role-models near-by, this is a book to take you back to the roots you wish you had.  An excellent book.
  • How to Turn the Other Cheek and Still Survive in Today's World, Published by Thomas Nelson Publishers at $12.99 for 223 pages, it discusses how to reduce and defuse verbal violence.  It also explains how to work with sensory modes in communication. This is one of several books the author has written that explains and teaches the nuts and bolts of the techniques that will become a part of the training of the next generation of dispute resolution professionals.
    How to Turn the Other Cheek and Still Survive
  • You Can't Say That To Me. This is Elgin's approach broken down into an eight step program, with worksheets and review guides.  The book is designed to be accessible.
    You Can't Say That To Me.
  • "If you're trying to find the first book in the Gentle Art series -- the one called simply "The Gentle Art of Verbal Self-Defense" -- you're going to have trouble online. Dr. Elgin is doing her best to straighten out the computer-error tangle responsible for this problem; in the meantime, please contact her directly at ocls@ipa.net and she'll see to it that you get your copy of the book promptly. It is not out of print, and hasn't been out of print for decades; it's readily available, for immediate shipment. She apologizes for the confusion." (Author's statement, used at her request).
  • The Gentle Art of Verbal Self-Defense at Work, Second Edition is a book I often recommend to other professionals and for which they are thankful.
    The Gentle Art of Verbal Self-Defense at Work, Second Edition
  • How to Disagree Without Being Disagreeable.  A great book.
    How To Disagree Without Being Disagreeable.
  • There are other books.  Visit her websites for more -- including one of those books on-line.  For links to Elgin's Sites, visit
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Other Non-Fiction
Suzette Haden Elgin has written other non-fiction works, some scholarly, some accessible.  Only a portion of those are discusses or referred to here.
  • Genderspeak, John Wiley and Sons.  Related to her Gentle Art books, this book covers how and why men and women seem to speak different languages.  If you ever wanted to understand someone of a different sex, and had problems, this book is a strong aid.  It does not provide rigid formulas or stereotypes.
  • Newsletters -- Dr. Elgin has an informal on-line (free) newsletter.  Back issues are archived, with her permission at [Lingua]
  • The Grandmother Principles, Abbeville.  How to be a grandparent.
  • Dictionary of Laadan. Elgin's suggested women's language.
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Dr. Elgin has written some allegorical fiction.  It is regularly used in college classrooms.  Some of it is delightful, some of it is provocative and thoughtful.
  • Ozark Series.  This series is allegorical much as C. S. Lewis's Narnia novels were allegories as well as novels.  The books are aimed at an older audience than Lewis's Narnia books and the allegories are not as transparent.  The books were best sellers in their genre and are usually described as delightful and enjoyable.  Strong, human literature.
  • Women's Language Series.  Strong feminist literature without any hate.  The stories tell of the rise, dissemination, and failure of a "women's language" and finishes with a "what if" premise used to explore other potentials.  The final book's "what if" is a flooring for an allegory, not hard sf (since the premise involves a perpetual motion concept), and is background to the plot and not the focus of the book.  Recently re-released by Feminista Press.

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