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.
Four Irish Travelers from gypsy families journey to Western China to find the 3,000-year old mummified and bejeweled head of their Celtic ancestor, taking their bare-knuckle boxing and Celtic head-banger band with them. Led by a psychotic Japanese woman with Yakuza connections, their odyssey takes them to the Taklamakan Desert of remote China. The trail to find the head ultimately leads to Hong Kong, leaving a number of dead bodies along the way. When one of the Travelers is found dead of ‘unknown causes’ in an obscure museum, finding the killer becomes one of the most challenging cases for Hong Kong homicide detectives, Ian Hamilton, Angela Cheung, and Nigel Ho, as they match wits with the Russian mob, a Nigerian evangelist, the Yakuza, and a murderous boxer.Purchase Now 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