Nobody Will Tell You This but Me
A True (as Told to Me) Story
Bess Kalb, Emmy-nominated TV writer and The 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 90, 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 LA 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.
Bess Kalb is an Emmy-nominated writer for Jimmy Kimmel Live. Her writing for the show earned her a Writer’s Guild Award in 2016. She has also written for the Oscars and the Emmys. A regular contributor to The New Yorker’s “Daily Shouts,” her work has been published in The New Republic, Grantland, Salon.com, Wired, The Nation and elsewhere.