My dad and grandfather, Henry and Harry Lang, were fur traders in China from 1923 until the Japanese invaded China in 1937. My book, ‘The Journal of Rabbi Levy Wang’, is historical fiction describing their lives in China and their having to abandon everything that they had built to escape being interned.
My grandfather in Mongolia trading silver for furs, around 1925. They lived in Tianjin, and would hire a small group of mercenaries to accompany them and their silver bars to Mongolia. They would then bring the furs back to their compound in Tianjin for shipment to New York.
Henry Lang, WWII
After escaping the invasion of China, my dad enlisted and was sent to Europe. One thing I never quite understood was that his eyesight was so bad that he never qualified for a driver’s license, but they put him in airborne division spotting for the bombardiers.
I grew up in Japan, and a major influence on who I am is my lifelong practice of the martial arts. Here I am at the age of 14 at the beginning of my journey, taking judo at the birthplace of the sport, the Kodokan in Tokyo.
When the body of a Westerner is found in an obscure Hong Kong museum, Hong Kong homicide detectives Angela Cheung, Ian Hamilton, and Nigel Ho identify the victim as bareknuckle boxer and singer in a Celtic band, Clovis O’Sullivan, an English gypsy Traveler who had recently arrived in Hong Kong with three friends. Clovis’ body, however, briefly comes back to life on the autopsy table. He was not dead. He had been in a drug-induced catatonic trance. By the time he came back to consciousness, the coroner had already opened him up: death by autopsy. Hong Kong homocide detectives Hamilton, Cheung, and Ho have their most intriguing case yet, and a chase that leads to Western China and the Celtic mummies of the Taklamakan desert.See David's Other Books
I am not one of those writers (I am sure that they exist) who plot out a story and outline before they write. When I start a chapter, I really have only a general idea of where it might lead. I am as surprised as the reader when I finally find out what happens. This is part of the joy of writing for me. When I write I also feel a connection to ‘a muse’, or ‘other energy’ that writes through me, as if I am not the real writer, only the medium through which the story is written. This was particularly true when I wrote The Journal of Rabbi Levy Wang. The story, which took place in 1937 China, was based on the experiences of my father and grandfather who were fur traders in Tianjin from 1923 to 1937 (Harry and Henry Cohen in the book, Harry and Henry Lang in real life). I most definitely felt connected to the spirits of my dad and grandfather when I wrote the story.Read More