Back to the red earth

Featured in

  • Published 20230502
  • ISBN: 978-1-922212-83-2
  • Extent: 264pp
  • Paperback (234 x 153mm), eBook

AQUELE QUE MADRUGA Dios lo ayuda. God helps those who rise early.

Acacia hears her mother’s modulated portuñol dialect in her mind as she lies under her handwoven red-­and-­white quilt. Her petite and muscular frame sinks into her bed, pregnant belly weighing her down. Clouds of wool expose themselves every couple of centimetres along the mattress’ torn seams. The sun peering through her bedroom window brushes a smile on Acacia’s thick, peeling lips, dimples forming on either side of them like fingermarks. Time begins to coil itself back into its stem, its root, its seed, back into the red earth of Rivera, Uruguay. 

Already a subscriber? Sign in here

If you are an educator or student wishing to access content for study purposes please contact us at

Share article

About the author

Natalia Figueroa Barroso

Natalia Figueroa Barroso is a Uruguayan-­Australian writer of Charrúa, African and Iberian origins who was raised between the unceded lands of Charrúa Nation and...

More from this edition

Have you ever seen the rain?

FictionOne by one the streets quietened down. A great hush washed over this city. Even the lights at night seemed dimmer. All of life lay dormant. Or maybe not – Toru couldn’t trust his eyes, could he? He had been living on the streets in the clothes he died in, scrounging food from tables outside restaurants and cafés around the city, but those tables were long gone.

Pop mythology

In ConversationEven though I grew up on a small, remote island, I was still heavily influenced by television – particularly the sort of cartoons that would play on Saturday mornings, mornings before school, after school and so on. When it comes to DC and Marvel and all of those superheroes, for me that was ignited by my late grandfather Ali Drummond, my mother’s father, who had boxes of Phantom comics. Phantom was my early introduction to the strong, powerful male being who had supernatural strength and abilities.

Adhi danalpothayapa

Non-fictionFor all the clans on Saibai, both migrations were distressing, uprooting families from their homelands where they had lived for thousands of years. Nevertheless, knowledge produced from these migrations has been embedded in stories chronicling the changing climate, and shared throughout the generations. A strong sense of pride is conveyed when recounting these narratives of adaption and resilience. Story is the key because the wisdom is in the story.

Stay up to date with the latest, news, articles and special offers from Griffith Review.