On the face of it this is a novel which rages against identity politics. Seventh is sick of reading manuscripts by or about Jewish-Fourth-Wave-Lesbian-Socialist-Pro-Immigration-Anti-Vax-Latinx-Americans (in which Montaigne, who seems to be Mother for Dinner’s moral core or touchstone, is denounced as a ‘Bourgeois-European-Patriarchal-Franco-Roman-Catholic-Cisgendered-Male-Monotheistic-Apologist’). But Auslander is examining, with punishing scrutiny, his own heritage. (Come on: a mother who domineers even in death? A special ritual knife? Twelve male children? That last is a pretty big clue.) And he’s again torn between turning his back on it or embracing it. It’s this conflict which makes Mother for Dinner such an uncomfortably rich and comic novel.