LIFE, DEATH AND HUMOUR IN A SPANISH VILLAGE

December 28, 2018

EVER MEET A WOMAN cured of disease by visions of the Virgin, a blind beggar who rides a motor-bike, a phantom who terrorises a whole community? You’ll find them all and much more in Sunny Side Up, David Baird’s nostalgic — often humorous, always moving — book about life in rural Spain.

It may read like fiction, but it’s all fact. It’s the Spain that Hemingway never saw and never wrote about.

“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.

When you travel the back roads of Spain, it’s easy to imagine that nothing ever happens in those whitewashed villages you pass, slumbering in the sun, forgotten by the world, far from the rat race…

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. The sub-title of Baird’s book is The 21st century hits a Spanish village. It’s the tale of  a rural community as its shifts from a medieval way of life into the computer age.

There’s passion and pathos, humour and tragedy. And 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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La guerra olvidada – Spain’s forgotten war

November 25, 2018

SE TRATA DE UNA GUERRA OLVIDADA — la lucha de unos guerrilleros en los años 1940 contra el regimen de Franco.  Una guerra de que el público no fue informada, ni dentro del país ni afuera. Ahora hay una nueva edición en castellano del libro de David Baird, La gente de la sierra — Lucha sin cuartel contra las fuerzas franquistas.

Cada día hay menos gente que vivío en su propia carne aquella lucha. Uno por uno, los testigos se van desapareciendo. Pero el libro La gente de la sierra deja constancia del impacto terrible de aquella guerra desconocida en las sierras de Málaga y Granada.

Recoge el testimonio — apasionante, espeluznante y emocionante — de los campesinos de la Axarquía. Y también de los guerrilleros y de la Guardia Civil. Read the rest of this entry »


Praise from Lonely Planet

January 30, 2016

Lonely Planet, the leading guide book on Spain, has heaped praise on the Maroma Press publication Between Two Fires — Guerrilla war in the Spanish sierras

It comments: “A few communists and republicans continued their struggle after the Civil War in small guerrilla units in Andalucia’s mountains. David Baird’s book Between Two Fires fascinatingly documents the struggle between the guerrillas and the Guardia Civil around the village of Frigiliana in the 1940s and ’50s.”.

The fruit of years of investigation, Between Two Fires is the only book in English that relates what happened AFTER Spain’s Civil War, when rural communities were torn apart as rebels fought to undermine the Franco dictatorship.

To research what happened in those years when tight censorship sealed off Spain from the rest of the world author Baird interviewed former guerrillas, Civil Guards, villagers and their families.

He checked official files all over Spain and as far apart as London and Washington to find out just what happened in a war that went virtually unreported.

In the process  he uncovered details about a brutal crime that was covered up for more than 50 years and about the clandestine training of Spanish guerrillas by members of the American secret service.

Between Two Fires is on sale at English bookshops in Spain and from Amazon and other online outlets.

 


TITLE IT RIGHT — HOW TO GRAB READERS

June 23, 2015

Picking the right title can make all the difference when your book goes on sale. But how do you find it? The possibilities are endless, as David Baird discovered.

What do these phrases have in common?

Sunstruck, Fiesta fever, Follow that mule!, Whitewash and olives, The vintage years, Is there a Spaniard in the pueblo?, Everything under the sun, The blossoms of spring, The sunshine life, The donkey that roared…

Answer: they are all suggested titles for a new book. Read the rest of this entry »


AN ESCAPIST FINDS A NIGHTMARE IN SPAIN!

February 14, 2015

WE’RE ALL ESCAPISTS AT HEART, dreaming of another life in another place without the nagging worries that go with our daily routine.Fiesta frontcover
However, if you take the big step and launch yourself into a new life, a “simple life” in a totally different environment, it can turn out rather more complicated than you expected.
In the case of one not-so-innocent Britisher, his escapist dream turn turns into a dramatic adventure with sinister surprises lying in wait.
Don’t Miss The Fiesta!, a thriller set in a Spanish village, takes the lid off the surprises that could await a stranger in an outwardly tranquil Andalusian pueblo. Read the rest of this entry »


Seeking Winter Sun — A Spanish Travel Adventure

August 4, 2013

EVERYBODY remembers the first time they stepped on to Spanish soil. Dazzling light, dramatic landscapes, colourful personalities, pungent smells…they make an impact on the most travel-jaded.

You may be exhilarated or exasperated, enthralled or appalled, but you cannot remain indifferent, for this is a land which invites extreme emotions.

However, my first visit contradicted all the stereotypes for I came away convinced that the rain in Spain fell mostly on green, misty hills inhabited by short, broad people who wore large berets and carried black umbrellas everywhere. This impression arose from a day trip from France to San Sebastian. Read the rest of this entry »


Between Two Fires wins acclaim in US

June 30, 2013

Between Two Fires — Guerrilla war in the Spanish sierras, a poignant account of how a  village was trapped in a brutal conflict for years after the Civil War, has been setting sales records in the United States.

Since it became available in the Lightning Source edition, which can be ordered through Amazon online, it has been selling steadily to American readers keen to know more about this forgotten war — a war which went virtually unreported due to strict censorship.

The book has won critical praise from across the world. “As exciting as any thriller yet deeply moving, it deserves to be read by everyone concerned with the history of contemporary  Spain,”says historian Paul Preston, author of The Spanish Civil War and Franco – A Biography. Read the rest of this entry »