In Our Own Back Yard

It’s March 2020 and Liza, her husband and two teenage children are at home in Auckland in level-four lockdown due to Covid-19.

Reflections with her family around the dining table inspire Liza to reflect on another challenging time in history nearly forty years before when the South African Springbok rugby team toured New Zealand.

Casting her memory back to 1981, Liza recalls her life as a fifteen-year-old, including her first love, friendships, first-hand experiences of racism, and what it means and what it costs to find your voice and use it. In Our Own Backyard is a startling, confronting portrait of a society divided.

Written by Anne Kayes


$19.00 incl. GST

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Anne Kayes has written a masterful YA novel that considers questions of human equality that are as pertinent in the twenty-first century as they were in 1981.

Reviews ~ “It’s 40 years since the 1981 Springbok Tour divided New Zealand like almost no other event in our history, cleaving us into two halves: those who supported the South African rugby team’s visit and those who did not. Compare this with pictures from last year’s Covid-19 lockdown when New Zealanders were the very picture of calm compliance. How to bring these two events together in a book ostensibly for young adults?

“Anne Kayes’ impressive novel In Our Own Back Yard does this – and more – with cogency, bringing a power and intensity to the events of four decades ago while contrasting them with the pandemic. She considers questions about equality, what it takes to find one’s voice and use it, and how we learn from painful experiences. The contrast between tour protests and pandemic isn’t always seamless, but it provides a useful way to introduce then drive the coming-of-age story.”

Radio New Zealand ~ Listen to the review by Louise Ward.

Meet Kiwi author Anne KayesAnne Kayes

Find out more about Anne Kayes on her author profile.


Additional information

Dimensions21.6 × 13.5 cm
First published



Paperback edition



Page count


Published by

Bateman Books

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