An unforgettable novel about love–and the first work of fiction by the author of the groundbreaking nonfiction bestseller In a Different Voice
Kyra is an architect, involved in a project to design a new city. Andreas, a theater director, is staging an innovative production of the opera Tosca. Both have come through political upheaval and personal loss. Neither wants to fall in love. Yet when she asks him, “What is the opposite of losing?” and he says, “Finding,” it galvanizes a powerful attraction, and they risk opening themselves to love once again.
When their love affair leads to a shocking betrayal, Kyra’s fierce determination to see under the surface, to know what was true and real, brings her to Greta, a remarkable therapist. As the therapy itself repeats the themes of love and loss, Kyra challenges its structure, and the struggle that ensues between the two women opens the way to a larger understanding.
Passionate and revolutionary, Kyra is an exquisitely written love story, imbued with gentle humor. This is an extraordinary work of fiction by one of the most brilliant writers of our time.
“A triumph. Carol Gilligan has always dazzled and moved us with her brilliant mind, visionary wisdom, and compassionate heart. Now she gives us, as well, an irresistible novel about the power of history to hurt us, but the power of love to heal these wounds and redeem us. She is amazing.”
–Catharine R. Stimpson
Psychologist Gilligan's landmark study of gender and moral thinking, In a Different Voice (1982), set off a generation's worth of Mars vs. Venus debates. In Gilligan's poised debut novel, Kyra is a Cambridge-based architect and professor of architecture who meets Andreas, an opera director, at a friend's Thanksgiving dinner. Both have lost spouses to political turmoil. They are intrigued by each other, falling first into companionship as he persuades her to design sets for his nontraditional production of Tosca, and later into an affair. When Andreas leaves suddenly to pursue his work, Kyra spirals downward, bottoming out in a dramatic attempt to find out what is "real." As Kyra begins an unconventional, sometimes combative course of therapy, Andreas floats in and out of her life. The novel's great strength is Kyra's voice, which Gilligan renders with assurance and lyricism. The result is a powerful portrait of a complex character.