October 22 2020
Future girl, by Asphyxia
I finished this wonder of a novel today, and I’m feeling all the feelings. Visually stunning is a given – check out these interior shots, or head over to Asphyxia’s website for more of their stunning artwork!! The narrative voice of Future Girl is so powerful and compelling.
This is Piper’s art journal, and I love how the colour and intensity of the art and collage in the pages reflects her journey as she negotiates complex relationships with her mother, her friend and her new maybe boyfriend, as well as her relationship with food in a near-future Melbourne dealing with a food crisis.
We also gain deep insight into her experience of life as a d/Deaf person in a hearing world, and how powerful and important it is to be able to communicate on your own terms. Piper’s struggle to communicate as a Deaf person is effectively paralleled with the growing concerns over increasing censorship in a world where communication is all filtered through a monolithic IT corporation. Asphyxia plays beautifully with the idea of voice – spoken, written, signed, painted or texted, our voices matter, and EVERYONE should have the right to use theirs.
I’ve always been interested in learning to sign, but I have to confess to previously not having fully understood the depth, complexity and beauty of signing as its own distinct and unique language. This book was eye-opening to me about some of the issues around accessible communication for the deaf community. I know that I’ll always be a hearing person who can sign a little, and that my relationship with this language will always be as an outsider, but it’s something that I’m committed to starting to learn now, rather than just always thinking about it. This book is a wonder, and it’s high on the list of best books I’ve read this year, and ones I’ll be recommending for a long time to come.