Virtual Event: Bess Kalb
Nobody Will Tell You This But Me:
A true (as told to me) story
in conversation with MIKE BIRBIGLIA
April 29, 2020
7:00 PM ET
Join our online event (or pre-register) via the link in the event description.
$5.00 suggested - pay what you can - On Sale Now
Harvard Book Store's virtual event series welcomes BESS KALB—Emmy-nominated writer for Jimmy Kimmel Live and regular contributor to the New Yorker's "Daily Shouts"—for a discussion of her debut memoir, Nobody Will Tell You This But Me: A true (as told to me) story. She will be joined in conversation by award-winning actor, writer, director, and comedian MIKE BIRBIGLIA, author of the bestseller Sleepwalk with Me and Other Painfully True Stories.
In lieu of our traditional ticketing at this time, we ask that you pay what you can to support our virtual event series and this indie bookstore. We recommend a $5 contribution, or you can support Harvard Book Store by purchasing a copy of Nobody Will Tell You This But Me from our affiliate Bookshop page here.
We are so excited to be able to continue bringing authors and their books to our community, particularly during such challenging times, and your patronage and enthusiasm are what make it possible.
About Nobody Will Tell You This But Me
Bess Kalb, Emmy-nominated TV writer and New Yorker contributor, saved every voicemail her grandmother Bobby Bell ever left her. Bobby was a force—irrepressible, glamorous, unapologetically opinionated. Bobby doted on Bess; Bess adored Bobby. Then, at ninety, Bobby died. But in this debut memoir, Bobby is speaking to Bess once more, in a voice as passionate as it ever was in life.
Recounting both family lore and family secrets, Bobby brings us four generations of indomitable women and the men who loved them. There’s Bobby’s mother, who traveled solo from Belarus to America in the 1880s to escape the pogroms, and Bess’s mother, a 1970s rebel who always fought against convention. Then there’s Bess, who grew up in New York and entered the rough-and-tumble world of L.A. television. Her grandma Bobby was with her all the way—she was the light of Bess’s childhood and her fiercest supporter, giving Bess unequivocal love, even if sometimes of the toughest kind.
In Nobody Will Tell You This But Me, Bobby reminds Bess of the experiences they shared, and she delivers—in phone calls, texts, and unforgettable heart-to-hearts brought vividly to the page—her signature wisdom:
If the earth is cracking behind you, you put one foot in front of the other.
Never. Buy. Fake. Anything.
I swear on your life every word of this is true.
With humor and poignancy, Bess Kalb gives us proof of the special bond that can skip a generation and endure beyond death. This book is a feat of extraordinary ventriloquism and imagination by a remarkably talented writer.
Praise for Nobody Will Tell You This But Me
“Tender, funny, fresh, and unconventional, Nobody Will Tell You This But Me manages to make something new and wonderful out of a family memoir. Kalb has a light, lovely touch and a big heart, which combine to make this book irresistible.” —Susan Orlean, author of The Library Book
“I have not been as profoundly moved by a book in years. If you have a mother or grandmother, or ARE a mother or a grandmother, this is required reading. Bess Kalb’s fictional-factual tribute to the relationship she had with her grandmother—the way her history was passed to her by blood, along with bright memories and Jewish guilt and fierce, fierce love—could have been my own story. When I stop crying, I’m calling my mother immediately and making her read it.” —Jodi Picoult, author of A Spark of Light
“Nobody Will Tell You This But Me is precisely that—a book no one other than Bess Kalb would think to create. It’s an invented form that has bursts of comic lines as good as in any movie, and pathos as deep as in any novel. I love this book.” —Mike Birbiglia, author of Sleepwalk with Me and The New One
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