Born 1944 in and author of four novels, Fatos Kongoli is considered one of the most forceful and convincing representatives of contemporary Albanian literature. The Loser is his first novel. His work has been translated to critical acclaim in French, German, Italian, Greek and Slovak. Having studied in China, Kongoli worked as a mathematician during the Hoxa regime, preferring not to publish major works until that period ended, since when he has become one of the leading writers from Albania, recording the plight of that country and its people under the repressive Communist regime. When first published in 1992, in a comparatively large edition of 10,000 copies, The Loser found immediate success. It has been described as the most important Albanian novel to emerge from the post-Communist era.