Lorentzen was born in 1976 and grew up outside Boston. He graduated from Harvard in 1999 with a degree in Classics. In 2000 he moved to New York, where he became a journeyman of the magazine business, with stints at Us Weekly, the New Leader and Harper’s. He has maintained a loose association with n+1 since its founding in 2004. His writing has appeared in Rolling Stone, the London Review of Books and many other publications.