Bessie with Linda Kass

Tuesday, October 17, 2023 - 6:30pm

Schuler Books
Gateway Center
7260 Orchard Lake Road,
West Bloomfield Twp, MI 48322

Discover a new post WW ll historical fiction about a remarkable woman when Ohio author and fellow bookstore owner, Linda Kass, joins us to share her newest book!

This event is free to attend. However it helps us in planning to receive your RSVP. Please register here so we know you plan to join us:

We want to thank our community partners for this event, Jewish Community Relations Council/ AJC (JCRC/AJC), Detroit Jewish Book Fair, and Jewish Federation’s Women’s Philanthropy Department.

About the Book:
Just days after the close of World War II, Bess Myerson, the daughter of poor Russian Jewish immigrants living in the Bronx, is competing in the Miss America pageant. At stake: a $5,000 scholarship. The tension and excitement in Atlantic City's Warner Theatre are palpable, especially for traumatized Jews rooting for one of their own. So begins Bessie.

Drawing on biographical and historical sources, Bessie reimagines the early life of Bess Myerson, who, in 1945 at age twenty-one, remarkably rises to become one of the most famous women in America. This intimate fictional portrait reveals the transformation of the nearly six-foot-tall, self-deprecating yet talented preteen into an exemplar of beauty, a peripheral quality in her world, where success is measured by intellectual attainment. Yet it is the focus on her beauty, and the secular world of pageantry, that she must choose to escape her roots and fulfill her fierce desire to achieve and become someone for whom great things happen.

Bessie is a tender study of a bold young woman living at a precarious moment in our cultural history as she searches for love and acceptance, eager to make her mark on the world.


About the Author:
Linda Kass is the author of two historical novels, Tasa’s Song and A Ritchie Boy, the 2021 IPPY Gold Medal Winner in Historical Fiction. Bessie was named A Hasty Book List Most-Anticipated Historical Fiction Title for 2023. Linda began her career as a magazine journalist and correspondent for regional and national publications. She is the founder and owner of Gramercy Books, an independent bookstore in Columbus, Ohio. Find her online at


About the Conversation Partner:

Lauren Marcus Johnson received her Bacheler's of Science in Early Childhood Development and Family/Community Services from Michigan State University in 1997 followed by a Master Degree in Library and Information Science from Wayne State University in 2002. She is currently the Assistant Director of Cultural Arts at The J of Metro Detroit. As a professional book club facilitator, she works with a number of individual book clubs in the community on a regular basis, as well as support other groups on an ad hoc basis. Her all time favorite book is Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery.

Bessie By Linda Kass Cover Image
ISBN: 9781647425951
Availability: On Our Shelves Now. Click on title for location specific availability.
Published: She Writes Press - September 12th, 2023