New York Review Books, $14, 176 pp.
Gillian Rose was born into a secular Jewish family in England in 1947, and died there in 1995 from complications of ovarian cancer—baptized, it is said, on her deathbed, by Simon Barrington-Ward, then the Anglican bishop of Coventry and her longtime friend. She was a child of divorce who changed her name at sixteen from Stone, the name of her forbidding father, to Rose, the name of her loving stepfather; that name change, with all its symbolic resonance, she writes, “served as my bat mitzvah...
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