Love, like falling rain, can revive an arid life. But how can we find the love that brings true pleasure? How can we avoid the tragic love, with its lessons of sacrifice and loss, so deeply embedded in our culture? 'Pleasure is a sensation. It is written into our bodies; it is an experience of delight, of joy'In this inspiring book, Carol Gilligan sets out to create a radical new map of love. Although old patriarchal structures have been challenged the underlying patterns remain: the channeling of boys into 'masculinity'; the anxiety of girls in adolescence, the silences between men and women, the split between our social and our inner voice. In her work with children, adolescents and couples in crisis, Gilligan came to see how this 'double consciousness' - already present in the violence and betrayal of ancient myths, like that of Oedipus - had developed over thousands of years. Hunting for a counter myth, she discovered the story of Psyche and Cupid, a haunting tale of love and the searching soul, a model of resistance which she uses to frame her quest, showing how joy can be discovered in the heart of pain. The Birth of Pleasure rings with the voices of girls and boys, mothers and fathers, lovers and couples and echoes with telling readings of familiar writers, from Greek tragedy to Anne Frank, from Shakespeare to Proust, from Freud to Toni Morrison. All of us will find something that we recognise - and with luck, this brilliant, compassionate, flame-like book could really change our lives.