The Turnout by Megan Abbott

Megan Abbott, unparalleled anatomist of the harm girls do to themselves and each other in pursuit of a physical ideal, has turned her unsparing gaze from gymnastics and competitive cheerleading to ballet. Ballet will survive, as it has through Black Swan, #MeToo scandals, and countless harrowing ballerina memoirs, but The Turnout may make you want to skip The Nutcracker this year.

Look at top dancers’ bios sometime and you’ll see that many of them come from far-flung towns with studios such as the Durant School of Dance, run by 30-ish sisters Dara and Marie Durant. They’re addressed as “Madame” and “Mademoiselle” by their students, standards are high, and the training, passed down from their late mother, is rigorous.