Ivan Nechuy-Levytsky was born on 25 November [O.S. 13 November] 1838 to the family of a peasant priest in Stebliv (Cherkasy Oblast in central Ukraine). In 1847 he entered the Bohuslav religious school. Upon graduation from the Kiev Theological Academy in 1865, he taught Russian language, history, and geography in the Poltava Theological Seminary (1865–1866) and, later, in different gymnasiums in Kalisz, Siedlce (1867–1872), and Kyshyniv (1873–1874).
He started writing in 1865. His works appeared in Kievan and Galician publishing houses and periodicals such as Rada, Pravda, Dilo, and Zoria magazines. His bibliography [uk] includes social and popular history novels, dramas, comedies, and fairy tales. Among his most famous works are the novel Kaidash's Family (1878) and the comedy At Kozhumyaky (1875), which was later remade into the play Chasing Two Hares by Mykhailo Starytsky. In 1961 the play was adapted as a popular comedy movie of the same name.
Ivan Nechuy-Levytsky died of hunger in 2 April 1918 in one of almshouses of Kiev. He was buried at the Baikove Cemetery.
'Zhyttiepys' Ivana Levyts’koho (Nechuia), napysana nym samym,’ S’vit, no. 7 (1888)
Iefremov, Serhii. Nechui-Levyts’kyi (Kyiv 1924)
Mezhenko, Iurii. 'Ivan Semenovych Nechui-Levyts’kyi,’ Tvory, 1 (Kyiv 1926)
Bilets’kyi, Oleksander. 'Ivan Semenovych Levyts’kyi (Nechui),’ Tvory v chotyr’okh tomakh, 1 (Kyiv 1956)
Pokhodzilo, M. Ivan Nechui-Levyts’kyi (Kyiv 1960)
Krutikova, N. Tvorchist' I.S. Nechuia-Levyts’koho (Kyiv 1961)
Ivanchenko, R. Ivan Nechui-Levyts’kyi: Narys zhyttia i tvorchosti (Kyiv 1980)
Tarnawsky Maxim, The all-encompassing eye of Ukraine: Ivan Nechui-Levyts'kyi’s realist prose, Toronto, University of Toronto Press, 2015, 384 pp., ISBN 9781442650084 (in English)
Kaidash's Family (1993-1996) — a 2-episode mini-series directed by Volodymyr Horodko for the Kozak Consortium.
To Catch the Kaidash (2020) — a 12-episode television series based on Kaidash's family novel, adapted by Natalka Vorozhbyt and produced by STB channel.