Equally exciting, and actually true, The Magical Life of Long Tack Sam is an illustrated memoir by Ann Marie Fleming about her great-grandfather, who in his day was a famous Chinese magician and vaudeville performer. Fleming, a filmmaker, started looking into Sam's life after her grandmother died; her research led her on nearly as many travels as the magician himself enjoyed, as she tracked down version after version of the truth about her grandfather. The result is not only a documentary film but also this amazingly textured, multilayered book, a lovely pastiche of photographs, documents, stylized mini-comic-book episodes and Fleming's own charmingly simplistic stick-figure drawings.

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