This long-awaited novel by Katherine Anne Porter is destined to take a permanent place in the literature of our time. Over a period of many years Miss Porter has devoted her crative energy and great gifts as a storyteller to this major work, weaving its many strands into a rich, varicolored fabric. It is a novel on the grand scale, and its endless variety of scenes and characters is the variety of life itself. Comedy and tragedy, love and death, boredom and adventure, pain and pleasure-all are witnessed in the lives and actions of the ship's company of the German freighter-passenger ship Vera embarked from Veracruz, Mexico, and destined for Bremerhaven, Germany. The story covers a period of twenty-seven days in the year 1931.