A Taxonomy of Barnacles
By Galt Niederhoffer
(St. Martin's Press, Hardcover, 9780312334833, 384pp.)
Publication Date: December 27, 2005
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The Barnacle sisters--Bell, Bridget, Benita, Beryl, Belinda and Beth--have been raised by their eccentric, self-made father in a fabulous, gigantic Fifth Avenue apartment that, encrusted with Barry Barnacle's scientific collections, feels like a little piece of the Museum of Natural History transplanted to the other side of Central Park. Now that most of the sisters have come of age, Barry Barnacle proposes a contest, a test of wits and wills that should at long last settle what is to Barry the most essential of all questions: nature, or nurture? Whichever of his daughters can most spectacularly carry on his name will inherit his fortune; the others are out cold.
It's a proposition to set a Jane Austen heroine on her ear, but the Barnacle girls are up to the challenge. Throw the girls' mother Bella and their childhood crushes--the Finch twins next door--into the mix and the stage is set for a completely inventive and utterly fresh social comedy that is as beautifully written as it is unique.
Galt Niederhoffer started her own film production company in her early twenties, and has produced three award-winning Sundance movies. She lives in New York City.