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Weekend Reads - Jan. 22

Our special guest this week is BuzzFeed Philippines editor Matt Ortile, talking about some of his favorite recent stories.

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Garth Greenwell’s unsparing latest novel, What Belongs To You, came out this week from Farrar, Straus and Giroux, and his story “Cleanness” in StoryQuarterly made for an amazing sampler to his work. Here, the tiny touches and twitches between two men speak volumes when their words fail them in conservative and bleak Sofia, Bulgaria, in what Greenwell hopes is a love story.

Also this week on Matter, Tyler Coates shared his feelings on the internet about sharing his feelings on the internet. He talks about how we present distorted versions of ourselves online, and, in turn, how others falsely perceive us. The idea’s not new, but Coates makes a salient point about the dismissiveness of the term “oversharing” —it “carries with it the resentment that the person doing the revealing isn’t embarrassed, even though the reader thinks the writer should be.”

And to celebrate Grace Coddington’s side step into her new at-large role at Vogue, I returned to this old, still sparkling, profile of her in Intelligent Life, written by Julie Kavanagh, Grace’s assistant in the ‘70s. Fun fact: I once saw Grace outside Eataly in New York and I can confirm the verisimilitude of the “inimitable hennaed mane and stomp-stomp warpath walk” Kavanagh describes. This piece reminds why, with this move, Ms. Coddington isn’t winding down; she’s just getting started.

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