I’ve never been good at math, but there’s one calculation at which I excel. It goes like this: Age of one of my favorite journalists, minus my own age, equals self-loathing.
How old was Sarah Koenig when “Serial” came out? How old was Susan Orlean when she wrote “The Orchid Thief”? How many times did Susan Orlean get rejected from The New Yorker before she got a job there? Is it comparable to the number of times I’ve been rejected from The New Yorker? (Two.)