Such is Life is an Australian novel written by Joseph Furphy under a pseudonym of “Tom Collins” and published in 1903. It purports to be a series of diary entries by the author, selected at approximately one-month intervals during late 1883 and early 1884. “Tom Collins” travels rural New South Wales and Victoria, interacting and talking at length with a variety of characters including the drivers of bullock-teams, itinerant swagmen, boundary riders, and squatters (the owners of large rural properties). The novel is full of entertaining and sometimes melancholy incidents mixed with the philosophical ramblings of the author and his frequent quotations from Shakespeare and poetry. Its depictions of the Australian bush, the rural lifestyle, and the depredations of drought are vivid.
Furphy is sometimes called the “Father of the Australian Novel,” and Such is Life is considered a classic of Australian literature.
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