Lee Seung-U is a novelist and Professor of Korean Literature at Chosun University. He attended Seoul Theological University and Yonsei University Graduate School of Theology. Inspired by the attempted assassination of Pope John Paul II in 1980, Lee Seung-U wrote The Portrait of Erysichton, an earnest attempt to fathom the relationship between God and man. Subsequent works also infuse the Christian imagination with thoughts on existential anxiey. His writing is concerned with the conflict between the secular and the divine and how this manifests itself.
Seung-U has also tackled the problem of art and the artist's identity in modern society. A Conjecture Regarding the Labyrinth and To the Outside of the World embrace the disillusionment resulting from corruption and devaluation of language, offering a thoughtful contemplation on the possibility of overcoming such pessimism.
Although Seung-U has dealt with philosophical issues such as the problem of existence and man's estrangement from God, he overcomes a potentially oppressive tone in his works through a eloquent and finely detailed writing style. His writing has been published in English translation by Peter Owen in the UK. He was awarded the Daesan Literature Award in 1993.