Besnik Mustafaj (b. 1958) was born in Bajram Curri, in the Tropoja region of the northern Albanian mountains. He studied French at the University of Tirana and, after the collapse of the communist dictatorship, was seconded as Albanian Ambassador to France. Active not only as a writer, but also in political life, he was appointed Foreign Minister of the Republic of Albania in the autumn of 2005.
Besnik Mustafaj is both a prose writer and poet. His poetry has appeared in the collections: Motive të gëzuara (Merry motifs), Tirana 1978; Fytyrë burri (Face of a man), Tirana 1987; and Legjenda e lindjes sime (The legend of my birth), Tirana 1998, 2005. Among his main prose volumes are: Vera pa kthim (The summer of no return), Tirana 1989; Gjinkallat e vapës (The cicadas of the heat), Tirana 1994; Një sagë e vogël (A little saga), Tirana 1995; Daullja prej letre (The paper drum), Tirana 1996; and Boshti (The void), Tirana 1998. Mustafaj is also the author of essays and studies such as: Fletorja reservat: shënime jashtë valixhes diplomatike (The reserved notebook: notes from a diplomatic briefcase), Prishtina 1995; and Midis krimeve dhe mirazheve: esse (Between crimes and mirages: essays), Tirana 1999. His prose works have been translated into French, German and Bulgarian.