Loving At A Distance – Petra Hardt


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Traveling from the Silicon Valley through the college towns of Berkeley and Stanford, Loving at a Distance is a touching memoir that describes a European bibliophile’s experiences in the high-tech sectors of California. Living on two different continents is always a big challenge for a family. In a pandemic, however, that challenge becomes almost insurmountable.

An aging German grandmother, Petra Hardt finds that her regular journeys across the Atlantic to visit her children and grandchildren in California aren’t really helping her understand the Californian way of life and work. With self-irony and laconism, she details the connections and confusions between generations, exploring how different lifestyles and attitudes have affected her relationships. Her relatable experience of trying to bond with loved ones across distance is one shared by millions of other families around the world.

The personal impressions and observations are complemented by flashbacks to the author’s career in the international book trade. Why were the business trips to Beijing, Beirut, and Kolkata so easy to manage, while living in California is so hard? Showing us the world through Hardt’s grandmotherly eyes, Loving at a Distance is a tender and lively memoir about different ways of living and working in the age of globalism.


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