Future Girl

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


Future Girl is a captivating own-voice coming-of-age novel set in near future Melbourne, that bursts with passion, resilience, optimism and joie-de-vivre. An instructional environmental call-to-arms, it is also an utterly gorgeous art journal – 384 pages, no less, of full-colour art. The book explores my detailed experience of Deaf culture and what it feels like to be d/Deaf.

‘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.’


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.

Piper’s best friend and lifeline at school goes AWOL, and she and her mum lose everything. And then there’s Marley – a CODA (child of Deaf adult), who opens a door for Piper into a new world – a world where Deafness is something to celebrate, not to hide, full of beautifully expressive Auslan sign language. As Piper begins to explore her love of art, discovers a new passion for guerrilla gardening, and pushes back remorselessly against her mum, all while becoming more and more immersed in Deaf culture, she falls hard for Marley – but Marley is struggling with some big questions of his own…

‘Future Girl is a must-read for Deaf people, who will identify with Piper, and for those who are hearing, offering an understanding of what it’s like to be Deaf. It takes me back to my own struggle to fit in and my transformation into loving myself as I am: a signing Deaf woman with a place in both the Deaf and hearing worlds.’

DRISANA LEVITZKE-GRAY, Young Australian of the Year, 2015

Future Girl, for ages 13 to adult, explores Deaf identity, peak oil and the coronovirus-like chaos it could create, and self-expression through art journals. Check out the resources page for teachers’ notes and to explore the themes in more depth.

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Click here for resources to get the most out of Future Girl.

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


Offering an authentic window into the world of the Deaf, Future Girl is also rich with romance, a fraught and complicated mother–daughter relationship, inspiration to live more sustainably, and guidance for those interested in art-journaling. It’s absorbing, interesting, motivating and important – all in one. If you are d/Deaf, you will relate to this story and emerge equipped to better articulate your own experiences to others. If you are hearing, you will learn more than you thought possible about the subtleties of d/Deaf life. If you want art journal inspiration, this book will launch you on a life-long journey of stunning visual self-expression.

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


Inside the book:

‘Beautiful, immersive…a sensory feast.’


About the author, Asphyxia: I am an artist, writer, avid art-journal creator and the author of the much-loved junior fiction Grimstone series. Deaf since the age of three, I learnt to sign when I was eighteen, which changed my life. I am now a Deaf activist, sharing details of Deaf experience. I raise awareness of oppression of Deaf people and what we can all do to change this. My free online Auslan course has had over 15,000 students. I also love to share my art-journaling processes, helping others benefit from its powers for self-expression, problem-solving, planning, goal-tracking and self-esteem. I live on a small farm where I meld food-growing with art. Future Girl combines all these passions.

PRE-ORDER now your copy of Future Girl, which will be published by Allen and Unwin in October 2020. Your signed copy will be shipped at the end of September 2020.

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

Click here for resources to get the most out of Future Girl.

Already read the book? Share your thoughts below.

‘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.’


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