Spanish Language Schools Select British Writer's Work As Official Textbook

Humour, passion and nostalgia feature in a new book which traces the dramatic changes faced by a rural community as it collides with the computer age

IT STARTED as a nostalgia trip but now it's become an officially adopted school textbook.

Acclaimed for its humorous bitter-sweet account of the impact of modern ways on a rural community, David Baird's book "Sunny Side Up - The 21st century hits a Spanish village" has been honoured by being selected for study at official language institutes and secondary schools in southern Spain.

Author Baird, a veteran British journalist, has had a number of fiction and non-fiction books published but this is the first time his work has become part of a school curriculum.

"Sunny Side Up" documents the drama and the passion played out in a typical Andalusia village as it switches from medieval ways to the mores of the 21st century.

"All human life is here, in all its varieties," says Baird, who with his Dutch wife settled in such a village, seeking "the simple life". They soon found that things were anything but simple.

While the book may read like fiction, it's all fact. This is the Spain that Hemingway never saw and never wrote about. This is the tale - hilarious at times - of a rural community as its shifts from a medieval way of life into the computer age.

You'll find passion but also pathos in this sharply observed dissection of local ways - and it includes a wicked glance at expatriate eccentricities when they confront traditional Spanish life styles.

"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'," says the Sunday Times, of London.

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 across the world via Amazon and other Internet sellers.

A German edition, "Leben im Pueblo", is available from the publisher, Verlag Winfried Jenior, of
Kassel, Germany.