He was born in Ste Anne de Sabrevois, Quebec and attended the University of Montreal where he studied literature and already began to publish works of poetry. One of his most famous works is Le Libraire which is an existentialist tale of a book store employee in a small Quebec town in the fifties. It deals with one of Bessette's most common themes which is the stifling culture of Quebec in the fifties. Bessette became a professor first at RMC and then at Queen's. In 1980, he won the Prix David in 1980, Quebec's highest literary honour. He currently lives in retirement in Kingston, Ontario.
See also: List of Canadian writers, List of Quebec authors