Written in 1897 and published in 1903, Such Is Life is a novel written by Joseph Furphy. The book is the fictional diary of the protagonist and narrator Tom Collins. Taking place in Australia, the diary recounts the lives of the people who live in rural New South Wales and Victoria during the late 1800s. The diary entries are stories and gossip from the many people Collins meets as he travels around, enhancing and adding on to the main plot.
The title, Such Is Life, may have come from the last words of Ned Kelly, who was hung. The seemingly mundane and boring events that happen during the book, and the digressions that Furphy takes are not extremely exciting, but the entire novel is full of irony, by the people’s language, their actions, and their lack of education.