We Were Dreamers: An Immigrant Superhero Origin Story by Simu Liu (Kim’s Convenience, Marvel’s Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings) is a powerful story about growing up as a second-generation Chinese Canadian that is equal parts humorous, inspiring, and heartbreaking.
Born in Harbin, China, Simu spent the first four years of his life living in poverty with his yéye and nǎinai (paternal grandparents). Being a child, he didn’t know any different and was happy and loved his grandparents, aunt, uncle, and cousin. His parents, both incredibly hard workers were trying their best to set up a successful life for their family in Canada. His father was already there and working on getting a VISA for his mother, who was in Beijing at the time. Once she was finally able to go over, they worked on getting a VISA for Simu.
Suddenly in a new country, with virtual strangers, and a new language he couldn’t speak, Simu wasn’t having the best time. Eventually he learned the language, made friends, and got to know his parents – but it was a struggle and learning curve for all three of them. As he got older, his parents’ expectations for him grew exponentially and it seemed whatever he did he couldn’t please them. He was a failure in their eyes and they never let him forget it. Stories of the abuse he received was tough.
After graduating college and starting a professional job that he despised, Simu decided to defy all odds and pursue his dream to become an actor. And thus began the hustle. It’s truly amazing to read his story where he went from responding to Craigslist ads for movie extras to becoming a MARVEL SUPERHERO.
Highly recommended for fans of Simu or anyone who enjoys a good memoir.