Petra Hardt

Loving at a Distance

(German title: Fernlieben)
ca. 119 pages
Petra Hardt
Foto: Petra Hardt
© Insel Verlag

Petra Hardt, born in Frankfurt am Main in 1954, lives in Berlin and Mannheim. She worked in the rights and foreign rights departments of various publishing houses for forty years. Loving at a Distance is her debut as a writer.

Sold to

English world rights (Seagull), Arabic world rights (Al Kamel)

»Loving at a distance begins with Skype and continues at airports. The destination airport becomes a Mecca. In both directions.«

»Like many of my friends my age, I, too, live in between the generations. The multigenerational house of my great-grandparents stood in Wiesloch in Northern Baden, now it floats between Berlin and San Francisco. A cloud in which we love.«


Loving at a Distance talks about the author’s experiences in the hotspots of the high-tech sector in California: the Silicon Valley and the college towns of Berkeley and Stanford. The regular transatlantic journeys to visit her children and grandchildren in California aren’t really helping the grandmother understand the Californian way of life and work.

Is she too old, too European, too much of a bibliophile? With self-irony and laconism, the book describes the connections between the generations, the different lifestyles and attitudes. Living on two different continents is always a big challenge for a family, in times of a pandemic, however, the challenge becomes almost insurmountable. This experience is one the German grandmother shares with millions of other families around the world.

The personal impressions and observations are complemented by flashbacks of the author’s career in international book trade. Why were the business trips to Beijing, Beirut and Kolkata so easy to manage while life in California is not? An entertaining and stimulating book about different ways of living and working in the age of globalism.