Image: A book cover titled Future Girl by Asphyxia. It shows a girl with long, black, wavy hair. She wears a grey sleeveless top and holds a magenta pencil and paint brush in her fist, with light blue paint dripping from the brush. She has a large black cross over her right ear. Her eyes are green and her lips red. The background is of green, brown and teale textured paint, with drawings of buildings in black. On the right is a review by Drisana Levitzke-Gray, Young Australian of the Year 2015, which says, ‘Future Girl is a must-read for Deaf people, who will identify with Piper, and for those who are hearing, to gain an understanding of what it’s like to be Deaf.’ Below the review is the text, ‘The art journal of 16-year-old Piper, this is a visual extravaganza of text, paint, collage and drawings, woven into a deeply engaging coming-of-age story, set in near future Melbourne as it lurches towards environmental catastrophe.’ Beneath that is the logo of the publishers, Allen and Unwin, and text, ‘Get your copy at’.

Piper’s mum wants Piper to be ‘normal’ — to put up with the tension headaches, the constant misunderstandings, and the herculean daily efforts it takes for her to pass as hearing, so she can grow up to be ‘successful’ like her scientist mother. But when disaster hits Melbourne, Piper has more important things to worry about, starting with her stomach. The personalised, ultra-processed meals from her mum’s company that used to land on their doorstep so reliably have halved in quantity, transport costs sky-rocket overnight, and businesses everywhere start to collapse.

A captivating own-voice coming-of-age novel set in near future Melbourne, that bursts with passion, resilience, optimism and joie-de-vivre. Not only is Future Girl an instructional environmental call-to-arms, providing inspiration to live more sustainably, it offers an authentic window into the experience of Deaf culture and what if feels like to be d/Deaf.

For ages 13 to adult, and published by Allen and Unwin, this full-colour visual journal-style read may just launch you on a life-long journey of wonderfully satisfying visual self-expression.

‘A life-changing book for young Deaf and disabled people … of personal growth and pride – demonstrating the importance of the #OwnVoices movement.’ — Carly Findlay, OA

‘Asphyxia is a trailblazing Australian Deaf activist, a prominent sustainability champion, and a passionate artist and writer. This is the book we’ve been waiting for her to write. An eight-year labour of love, passion and forward-thinking vision around equal rights and the future of our world as we know it, it is, just as is Asphyxia herself, revolutionary.’ — Allen and Unwin

‘Asphyxia’s work is brilliant: a deep, original insight, and a book that everyone should read.’ — Jackie French, AM

‘Brilliantly imaginative, totally immersive – Asphyxia tilts the world sideways and invites you to see what was always there. Don’t miss this book.’ — Amie Kaufman

‘Beautiful, immersive … a sensory feast.’ — Jaclyn Moriarty

‘Future Girl confronts the challenges ahead of us and will open minds and hearts to the possibility of other worlds.’ — Sean Williams

‘I really enjoyed this gorgeous book and related to so many things. That is rare. I can’t wait for the world to read Future Girl.’ — Anna Seymour

Interested in reading Future Girl?
Download the first 30 pages for free HERE.

Get your own copy of Future Girl

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Future Girl Resources
Future Girl explores Deaf identity, peak oil and the coronavirus-like chaos it could create, as well as self-expression through art journaling.

To make the most out of Future Girl, visit my FUTURE GIRL RESOURCES, where you‘ll find further exploration of the book’s themes and teachers’ notes.

Please share your thoughts below.

2 thoughts on “

  1. Maya

    Future Girl drew me in at the first page. All of the colours and the choice of words are beautiful. Future Girl is also a strong book that encourages us, Deaf people to be more confident and to be proud of our identity and culture. The book also gives hearing people a perspective on what a Deaf person’s daily life might be. I would definitely recommend this book.


  2. Asphyxia Post author

    Just saw this lovely review from Angela Crocombe over at Readings:

    Written by Deaf artist and writer Asphyxia, Future Girl is a remarkable Own Voices story about a Deaf girl, set in a near-future inner-city Melbourne where food security is under threat. Portrayed as the private art journal of sixteen-year-old Piper McBride, the novel is a stunning object with every single page decorated in full colour, including full-page portraits, garden maps and stencils.

    Piper has been brought up by her mother to hide her deafness and pass as ‘normal’. When she meets Marley, a charming CODA (Child of Deaf Adults) who teaches her Auslan and introduces her to his remarkable Deaf mother, her world changes dramatically. Piper starts rebelling against her previous life.

    The story is set against the backdrop of a society where synthetic food, scientifically packed with nutrients and anti-disease components, is distributed by the government. Piper’s mother is chief food scientist, but when she is retrenched from her job, she and Piper are so poor they have to rent out their house and move into the backyard. Their rations are reduced and they are literally starving.

    Piper learns from Marley’s mother how to grow her own food and starts a community vegie patch on the nature strip of their street. The government deem ‘wild food’ poisonous and want to shut it down, so Piper starts using her art to protest, with serious consequences.

    This is an enthralling coming-of- age story about a young Deaf woman finding her voice in a challenging future. It is an insightful window into the Deaf community for hearing readers and a powerful voice for Deaf readers. It is also a beautiful artistic object. Utterly wonderful! For readers aged 12+.



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