The Spain Hemingway Never Saw

It started as a nostalgia trip, but now it’s become a 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 language institutes and secondary schools in southern Spain.


“This is a real surprise,” says David. “I started writing it in a nostalgic vein, seeking to reflect how dramatically life had changed in my near-medieval village.”

Born in Oswestry, Shropshire, David worked as a journalist in the UK (Yorkshire Evening News, The Sun, The Times, Daily Express) and in Canada, Australia and Hong Kong before settling in Spain. He 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 – hilariously at times – the drama and the passion played out in a typical Spanish village as it switches from old ways to the more modern of the computer age.

“All human life is here, in all its varieties,” says Baird, who with his Dutch wife found refuge in such a village, seeking ‘the simple life’. He admits that they soon found 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. 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 1940’s. “This superbly written book could not be more timely,” says historian Paul Preston.

He has also written several 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 from Amazon and other Internet sellers.

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