cover image We Were Dreamers: An Immigrant Superhero Origin Story

We Were Dreamers: An Immigrant Superhero Origin Story

Simu Liu. Morrow, $27.99 (304p) ISBN 978-0-06-304649-8

In this triumphant debut, Liu, star of Marvel’s Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, traces how he followed his “immigrant dream” all the way to the big screen. His “cross-generational tale” begins in 1990s Harbin, China, where young Liu lived happily with his grandparents in a “ramshackle apartment.” Things changed drastically when, at age four, Liu was reunited in Toronto with his parents, who’d moved overseas in search of a better life. He bluntly reveals how cultural divides, compounded by the “weight” of his parents’ expectations, created a rift in the family, one that was often defined by violence. “I stopped feeling like my parents’ happily ever after, and more like their burden,” writes Liu. After excelling in school, though, dogged determination and a love of “tricking” (a mix of martial arts, gymnastics, and break dancing) led Liu to acting. Fans will relish the candid look at his winding road to success—from playing an “Asian extra” in 2013’s Pacific Rim, to unglamorous gigs found via Craigslist, to making history as Marvel’s first Asian superhero. The book’s beating heart, however, lies in the affecting story of his family’s path to healing: “My parents are beaming with pride at the son who has disobeyed practically every single order they had ever given.” This real-life hero’s journey is a knockout. (May)