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On Wednesday, January 18, Milton alumna Galt Niederhoffer ’93 returned to Harvard University – her alma mater – to read from and discuss her debut novel entitled A Taxonomy of Barnacles. Galt’s work tells the tale of the six Barnacle sisters – Bell, Bridget, Beth, Belinda, Beryl and Benita – who are presented with a contest fashioned by their father, eccentric and self-made Barry Barnacle. The winner of the contest, which tests both wit and wills, stands to inherit her father’s estate. The contest seeks to answer what Barry deems the most important of all questions: nature or nurture?

Galt penned her novel while on hiatus from her career in the independent film industry. Her production credits include over a dozen films such as “Hurricane” (1997), “Prozac Nation” (2001) and “The Baxter” (2005). Three of Niederhoffer’s films have premiered at the celebrated Sundance Film Festival. In 1997 she was named on Variety’s Top Ten Producers to Watch list and on Entertainment Weekly’s Powerful Under Thirty list.

A Booklist starred review of Galt’s novel, A Taxonomy of Barnacles, describes it as “a delightfully clever and romantic screwball comedy…Niederhoffer pays sparkling homage to fairy tales, King Lear, Austen, and Nora Ephron in this charming and sly spoofing of the concept of the survival of the fittest and the nature-versus-nurture debate.”