THE SEASON: A History of the Debutante, the new book from author Kristen Richardson, explores the history and evolution of the debutante ritual. From the “withdrawing rooms” of Queen Elizabeth I to the marriage market of Almack’s, in London, from the cotillions of the American South to the modern International Debutante Ball, the presentation of young women has survived for centuries. Generations of women in Richardson’s family debuted, but when it was her turn, she chose not to. Still, her friends and family did debut, piquing her curiosity about the ritual and its staying power. How did the ritual start, and why has it survived in an age of feminism and women choosing their own husbands?
Everything has been hidden from Roxanne G.—her birth name, her sister, her family history—until her “boyfriend” tries to ingratiate himself by flying in her estranged mother from Tel Aviv. That visit is the start of a tumultuous journey, in which she first learns about a profoundly disabled sister who lives in a residential community in the Galilee and later begins to unearth disturbing long-held family secrets.
This year’s book features a return to Zagat’s classic style, featuring the brand’s original bold, white logo, burgundy coloring, and 30-point rating system. Each review in the book is created specifically from commentary shared by participants in this year’s survey. The book features more than 350 pages of New York City restaurant intel and was edited by Nell Potter, John Rambow, and Hillary Reinsberg, with coordination support by Katie Cohen.
Should we be concerned for our country when young, unaccustomed politicians assume office, like 28-year-old Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez? Or, should we look forward to our brilliant socialist future?
Bruce Weber has devoted this nineteenth edition of the “All-American” journal series to individuals whose creativity, fearlessness or endurance in the face of adversity exemplify some shared human impulse for expression, for freedom, for life. He shares photography duties in this issue with Consuelo Kanaga, a lesser-known contemporary of Weston, Lange and Stieglitz whose work reflects her deep commitment to social justice—and with John Dugdale, who employs 19th century photography techniques in a practice informed by his experience with and survival of the AIDS crisis. All-American XIX: No Small Thing, Desire also features portraits and a testimonial by Auschwitz survivor Magda Bader, and texts by Lucille Clifton, William Carpenter, Rachel Carson and Joni Mitchell.