Anna Katharina Hahn

Over and Gone - Novel

(German title: Aus und davon)
ca. 300 pages
Anna Katharina Hahn
Foto: Anna Katharina Hahn
© Heike Steinweg

Anna Katharina Hahn was born in 1970 and studied German and English literature, as well as Folklore in Hamburg. She lived in Berlin for several years and now lives and writes in Stuttgart.

Her previous works include the collection of stories Kavaliersdelikt, for which she was awarded the Clemens Brentano Prize in 2005, as well as the novel Kürzere Tage, which was longlisted for the German Book Prize in 2009. In 2010, Anna Katharina Hahn has been awarded with the Heimito von Doderer Literary Award.

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Domestic Rights Sales: German Audio Book (Fine Voices), German Book Club (Büchergilde Gutenberg)

Stuttgart, New York, Meadville – love, proximity and distance in the time of the smartphone

Shortlisted for the Wilhelm Raabe Literature Prize 2020


For goodness’ sake, where is the boy? When her young grandson Bruno fails to show up at mealtime, Elisabeth feels like she is losing control over her life. Her daughter Cornelia has separated from her husband and is taking a »hiatus« in Pennsylvania. Stella, Bruno’s gorgeous older sister, is hanging out somewhere in town with her peers. And Bruno has simply disappeared. Unreachable.

Just one more time, Elisabeth wanted to take on responsibility, take everything off Cornelia’s shoulders for four weeks, without fuss or quibble. But since her husband’s stroke the old verve has gone, and nobody is there to help her.

Anna Katharina Hahn unfolds a broad panorama between generations that have less and less to say to one another. Here is Elisabeth with her grandchildren in Stuttgart, whose affluence no longer seems to correspond to the hardships of the people surrounding her. On the other side of the world, her daughter sends messages from shimmering Manhattan or the vastness of the provincial backcountry. Through the images and text messages that are sent halfway around the world, all of this seems to be connected somehow. But what good is that when a child doesn’t come home one day? Over and Gone is the family saga of the 21st century.


»That’s what constitutes Anna Katharina Hahn’s subtle skill: It’s not about seeing through people but about actually seeing them. In Over and Gone, too, it’s habits rather than characteristics that are described with amazing attention to detail. The external life is a symptom of the interiority that has become chronic and not, as it so often is in literature, a merely superficial accessory. In Over and Gone every movement appears as an extension of the self and that way one can observe the characters trying to literally get a grip on their lives.« Paul Jandl, Neue Zürcher Zeitung

»Recognising the corporality of people also means realising that it demands presence. It takes a different conception of the human being to do so, closer to animals than to androids, like the one Anna Katharina Hahn portrays in her sage novel.« Meike Fessmann, Süddeutsche Zeitung

»Yes, Over and Gone is also a family history inspired by pietism and feminism, but first and foremost the novel is a wicked, satirical, darkly Romantic fantasy in the manner of Callot or Hoffmann. Prepared with a lot of flour, milk and yeast flakes and great skill.« Hubert Winkels, DIE ZEIT

»Every sentence, every scene hits home and reveals something about ourselves and about the others, or rather: about some and others.« Judith von Sternburg, Frankfurter Rundschau

»With her new book Over and Gone, Anna Katharina Hahn continues a project she began in 2009 with Shorter Days: the detailed panoramic portrait of the studious petty bourgeois milieu in Stuttgart. Her access is shaped by a naturalism sustained with considerable virtuosity ...« Stephan Wackwitz, taz. die tageszeitung

»Over and Gone is an impressive, definitively worthwhile novel that talks about the breakdown of middle-class securities.« Franziska Wolfheim, Der Tagesspiegel

»A quiet, observant, worldly-wise book.« Welt am Sonntag

»Over and Gone is a great novel full of references and there is always a bunch of reasons for why the characters act as they do.« Claudia Voigt, DER SPIEGEL

»The more one immerses oneself in the delicately drawn details and characteristic coincidences of this small world around Ostenstraße, developed in artful changes of perspective, the more astonishing seems the thematic richness that Anna Katharina Hahn organises with casual grace.« Stefan Kister, Stuttgarter Zeitung

»With Over and Gone Anna Katharina Hahn presents a skillfully composed family novel, smart and sophisticated.« Theresa Hübner, SWR 2

»A family novel that packs a punch« Franziska Altepost, BuchMarkt

»The author, writer-in-residence in Mainz in 2018, presents a multi-layered family novel that spans across several generations.« Börsenblatt

Other publications

Das Kleid meiner Mutter/My Mother's Dress (2016)

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Arabic world rights (Sefsafa)

Am Schwarzen Berg/Black Mountain Side (2012)

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Domestic Rights Sales: German Audiobook (Griot)

Kürzere Tage/Shorter Days (2009)

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English world rights digital (Frisch & Co.), Finland (Lurra)

Domestic Rights Sales: German Stage Adaptation (Staatstheater Stuttgart)