Have you ever heard of the Texas Dip? It’s a wild curtsy you might see performed—or botched—at a debutante ball. Kristen Richardson calls it a magic trick. And, yes, debutantes are still a thing. They’re the subject of her new book The Season.
Debutante balls used to be a young woman’s first public foray into society. Really, though, the debutante season was a crucial step on her way to getting married. Today debutante balls are mostly really expensive parties for wealthy teens. But there’s more to the story than that: Richardson’s book traces a history of social change, race and class, from Europe to America.