Such is Life
Such is Life (1903) is a novel by Joseph Furphy. Written under his pseudonym “Tom Collins,” Such is Life is a unique and challenging story that took decades to achieve a proper audience. Earning comparisons to the works of Melville and Twain, Furphy’s novel is considered a landmark of Australian literature. “The fore part of the day was altogether devoid of interest or event. Overhead, the sun blazing wastefully and thanklessly through a rarefied atmosphere; underfoot the hot, black clay, thirsting for spring rain, and bare except for inedible roley-poleys, coarse tussocks, and the woody stubble of close-eaten salt-bush; between sky and earth, a solitary wayfarer, wisely lapt in philosophic torpor.” Setting out on a trek through the outback, Tom Collins begins his seemingly endless torrent of words, a journey through language to match his journey over land. Accompanied by a dog and two horses, he meets a vibrant array of characters from all nations and walks of life; from drovers to criminals, Collins can talk with them all. Described by Furphy himself as “offensively Australian,” Such is Life is part travelogue, part philosophy, a novel ahead of its time that remains informative for our own. With a beautifully designed cover and professionally typeset manuscript, this edition of Joseph Furphy’s Such is Life is a classic work of Australian literature reimagined for modern readers.