Bestselling novelist Lee Oi-soo is dead at 75
Bestselling novelist Lee Oi-soo died on Monday aged 75. He had been receiving treatment after collapsing following a brain hemorrhage in early 2020. He is survived by his wife and two sons.
The writer was born in Hamyang, South Gyeongsang in 1946. He attended Chuncheon National University of Education but never graduated. His debut piece was “Apprenticeship” in 1972. He published more than 30 pieces, including “The Dreaming Plants” (1978), which was his first full-length novel. Other works include “Byeokogeumhakdo” (1992), “Golden Scale” (1997), “Single Horn” (2001), “The Person Off-board” (2005), “Levitation” (2006), and Haak Haak” (2008).
As a young boy, Lee dreamed of becoming a painter and frequently painted while writing. He held two art exhibits in 1990 and 1994. He built himself a village in Hwacheon, Gangwon and a gallery under his name in 2012. He was chosen as the most popular novelist in Korea by a 2009 Gallup Korea survey.
Lee was also somewhat of a Twitter celebrity with more than 1.4 million followers. He was known for his eccentric lifestyle and caveman-like appearance. He enjoyed being called “Twitter's Korean president.” He earned popularity with the younger generations thanks to his sympathetic advice and blunt criticism of the government.
BY YIM SEUNG-HYE [firstname.lastname@example.org]