Asphyxia is an artist, writer and public speaker. Author of the
much-loved junior fiction series the Grimstones, Asphyxia has also
been a circus performer and puppeteer. An avid art-journal creator,
she loves to share her process and help others benefit from this
amazing tool for self-expression, problem-solving, planning,
goal-tracking and self-esteem.
Deaf since the age of three, Asphyxia learnt to sign when she was eighteen, which changed her life. She is now a Deaf activist, sharing details of Deaf experience. She raises awareness of oppression of Deaf people and what we can do to change this. Her free online Auslan course (www.asphyxia.com.au) has had over 15,000 students.
Asphyxia is kept busy with her small farm where she combines food-growing with art - creating a magical aesthetic with plants and natural elements.
Her novel for teens, Future Girl, combines all these passions.
'This gentle yet honest story is true to one Deaf experience and is
a pleasure to read, with artistic designs on every page and full
illustrations and personal touches scattered throughout. The text
and illustrations also introduce readers to basic permaculture
concepts...Asphyxia skillfully interweaves subjects, including the
diversity of Deaf language usage and access, Deaf interactions with
the police, and having a friend in an abusive relationship...A
distressingly insightful vision of the future that also offers
warmth and hope.' STARRED REVIEW, Kirkus Reviews, USA
'Future Girl is clever, complex and generous...This book is art activism-a call for community and connection when we desperately need it.' Bec Kavanagh, Books+Publishing
'A delightful and absorbing young adult fiction (and semi-graphic novel)...Future Girl combines traditional teen romance with the ominous air of a Margaret Atwood novel, plus a liveliness of spirit that drives you through the story. Not simply text-based, Piper's beautiful drawings and designs can be seen on every page. A must read.' Raphaelle Race, The Big Issue
'This brilliant book combines arresting themes with engaging characters and a compelling storyline...In these COVID times the reader may well be as inspired as Piper to get growing - and perhaps to learn Auslan.' Katharine England, The Advertiser
'This powerful dystopian coming-of-age novel, set in a futuristic Melbourne during an environmental crisis, comes in the form of an exquisite art journal...Through her creative use of language, Deaf author and activist Asphyxia makes Piper's experiences palpable and gives readers an eye-opening insight into the Deaf community.' The White Ravens Database, International Youth Library Foundation, Germany
'Have you ever come across a book and just thought to yourself, "That is the coolest book I've ever seen"? Well, I do it a lot...but Future Girl is, hands down, the best one I've seen in a long while.' BuzzFeed
'This is my new favourite book and I can't stop thinking about it. It makes me want to nurture a food garden and delve deeper into what we can achieve as we think about our future. Highly recommended for readers of about 13 to adult.' Louise Ward, Wardini Books, NZ
'Future Girl is quite possibly the most unique book I've ever read! The visual elements were absolutely stunning and I feel like I learned so much. I also love that the book is #OwnVoices. I would recommend this book to anyone looking for something different!' Laurabookish (Instagram)
'A must-read!' Hear for You
'Deaf/HH (hard of hearing) teenagers are going to devour Future Girl, with its depiction of the daily obstacles and shared experiences that they rarely see on the written page. They will feel included and acknowledged, often for the first time...They will feel included and acknowledged, often for the first time...Through Asphyxia's novel we explore many positive changes hearing people can make to adapt, adjust and communicate clearly and visually to fit into Piper's life...Asphyxia has touched upon so many of the current and long-standing issues faced by Deaf people in our society today.' Joanne Tarpey, teacher of the deaf