DRAMA BEHIND THE WHITE WALLS OF SPAIN

TRAVEL the back roads of Spain and you will pass many a whitewashed village. Slumbering in the sun, forgotten by the world, far from the rat race…places where nothing ever happens.

Dream on. Behind those white walls you will find more drama and passion than you could ever imagine. All human life is here, in all its varieties.

British journalist David Baird and his Dutch wife found that out fast enough when — after travelling the world — they settled in an Andalusian village, seeking “the simple life”.

Soon they found that things were not so simple, as Baird recounts in his book “Sunny Side Up — The 21st century hits a Spanish village”. It may read like fiction, but it’s all fact. It’s the Spain that Hemingway never saw and never wrote about.

Ever meet a woman cured of disease by visions of the Virgin, a medic whose injections are to die for, a blind beggar who rides a motor-bike, a phantom who terrorises a whole community? They’re all here in this nostalgic — often humorous, always moving — look at rural Spain.

“Baird’s ironic glance back over the past 30 years is recommended reading for anybody who has ever wondered what happened to ‘the real Spain’,” according to the Sunday Times.

This is the tale of  a rural community as its shifts from a medieval way of life into the computer age. You’ll find passion here, but also pathos. There’s hilarity, but also an insightful dissection of local ways, as well as a wicked glance at expatriate eccentricities.

Baird’s other books include Between Two Fires, a highly acclaimed account of a largely unreported guerrilla war in Spain in the 1940s, as well as travel books and two works of fiction (Don’t Miss The Fiesta! and Typhoon Season).

Sunny Side Up, distributed by Maroma Press, is on sale through English bookshops in Spain and via Amazon and other Internet sellers. It has been selected by several Spanish schools as a set book for its pupils.

The German edition, Leben im Pueblo, translated by Uwe W. Paulsen, is available from the publisher, Verlag Winfried Jenior, Lassallestr. 15, D-34119 Kassel, Germany. Tel.: 0561-7391621, Fax 0561-774148. E-Mail: Jenior@aol.com. Homepage: http://www.jenior.de

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