Arturo Fontaine is a Chilean writer. His best known works are his novels Oír su voz and Cuando éramos inmortales, both published by Alfaguara.

NYR DAILY

What Woke Me, Or a Story of the Earthquake in Quechereguas: An Old Peasant’s Account

Jose Guadalupe Posada: Sublime Creator of Heaven and Earth, Deliver Us from Another Earthquake

“It was Guillermina who woke me. She always sleeps more lightly than I do. I jumped out of bed and grabbed Pedro and Rosita who never wake up, ever. You know, the young are like that, great for sleeping. The tremor knocked me over. I got up and managed to open the door. I threw them one by one down the corridor. First Pedro and then Rosita. And I held out my hand to Guillermina. She was trying to get out of the room but it looked as if the room was swallowing her . I could feel windows exploding and dust falling from above. The floor was shaking—it was like being in a boat. The orange trees were smashing into each other, their branches were lashing about like madmen, and we could hear the crashing of the zinc panels on the roof and the tiles hurtling off.