Raised in Surrey, B.C., Ranj Dhaliwal has had more than a little first hand experience with the Indo-Canadian "underworld,"; the subject of his debut novel, Daaku (New Star $21), the Punjabi word for outlaw or gangster.

"When you open this novel you enter the daaku's world,"; he says, "and when you close it you leave it-unlike the life of a real daaku whose only exit is death.";

The story follows Ruby Pandher, "a teenaged street soldier gunning for a generalship,"; who eventually struggles to extricate himself from the vicious world of thugs, drug lords and terrorists.

Ranj Dhaliwal's follow-up to Daaku is Daaku: The Gangster's Life in which his protagonist Ruby Pandher is a little older, wiser and more ambitious--while remaining reflective about his lone wolf lifestyle. "Maybe God will forgive me if I get out of this life now."

Born in Vancouver on July 14, 1976, Dhaliwal says he is disturbed by the number of Indo-Canadian gangland murders in Canada and believes stories such as Daaku are necessary to raise public awareness. He devotes some of his spare time to organizations that deal with at-risk Indo-Canadian youth.


Daaku (New Star 2006) 1-55420-027-X
Daaku: The Gangster's Life (New Star 2011) 9781554200597 $21

[BCBW 2011] "Fiction" "Crime" "Indo-Canadian"