Free Shipping on Orders of $40 or More
We Were Dreamers: An Immigrant Superhero Origin Story

We Were Dreamers: An Immigrant Superhero Origin Story

by Simu Liu

Unabridged — 8 hours, 10 minutes

Simu Liu
We Were Dreamers: An Immigrant Superhero Origin Story

We Were Dreamers: An Immigrant Superhero Origin Story

by Simu Liu

Unabridged — 8 hours, 10 minutes

Simu Liu

Audiobook (Digital)

$24.99
FREE With a B&N Audiobooks Subscription| Cancel Anytime
$0.00

Free with a B&N Audiobooks Subscription | Cancel Anytime

START FREE TRIAL

Already Subscribed? 

Sign in to Your BN.com Account


Listen on the free Barnes & Noble NOOK app

FREE

with a B&N Audiobooks Subscription

Or Pay $24.99

Overview

The star of Marvel's first Asian superhero film, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, tells his own origin story of being a Chinese immigrant, his battles with cultural stereotypes and his own identity, becoming a TV star, and landing the role of a lifetime.

In this honest, inspiring and relatable memoir, newly-minted superhero Simu Liu chronicles his family's journey from China to the bright lights of Hollywood with razor-sharp wit and humor.

Simu's parents left him in the care of his grandparents, then brought him to Canada when he was four. Life as a Canuck, however, is not all that it was cracked up to be; Simu's new guardians lack the gentle touch of his grandparents, resulting in harsh words and hurt feelings. His parents, on the other hand, find their new son emotionally distant and difficult to relate to - although they are related by blood, they are separated by culture, language, and values. 

As Simu grows up, he plays the part of the pious child flawlessly - he gets straight A's, crushes national math competitions and makes his parents proud. But as time passes, he grows increasingly disillusioned with the path that has been laid out for him. Less than a year out of college, at the tender age of 22, his life hits rock bottom when he is laid off from his first job as an accountant. Left to his own devices, and with nothing left to lose, Simu embarks on a journey that will take him far outside of his comfort zone into the world of show business. 

Through a swath of rejection and comical mishaps, Simu's determination to carve out a path for himself leads him to not only succeed as an actor, but also to open the door to reconciling with his parents.

We Were Dreamers is more than a celebrity memoir - it's a story about growing up between cultures, finding your family, and becoming the master of your own extraordinary circumstance.

Supplemental enhancement PDF accompanies the audiobook.



Related collections and offers

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

★ 03/14/2022

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)

From the Publisher

Don’t let Simu Liu fool you. On the outside you may see boyish good looks, talent and a body made of tightly coiled muscle. But on the inside? It’s quite good looking in there too. Strong heart. Beautiful ligaments and a soul made of spun sugar. Also, he wrote this hilarious and heartfelt story about growing up, finding yourself, and seizing your moment.”
— Ryan Reynolds

“A sincere, funny and fascinating love letter to family, and a guidebook to pursuing your dreams.”
— Olivia Munn

“Oh great, another underdog story of overachievement. Just what we needed.” — Ronny Chieng

Ryan Reynolds

Don’t let Simu Liu fool you. On the outside you may see boyish good looks, talent and a body made of tightly coiled muscle. But on the inside? It’s quite good looking in there too. Strong heart. Beautiful ligaments and a soul made of spun sugar. Also, he wrote this hilarious and heartfelt story about growing up, finding yourself, and seizing your moment.”

Ronny Chieng

Oh great, another underdog story of overachievement. Just what we needed.

Olivia Munn

A sincere, funny and fascinating love letter to family, and a guidebook to pursuing your dreams.”

Library Journal

★ 05/01/2022

Liu, the star of Marvel's Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, tells the complex story of his parents' childhood in China during the Cultural Revolution and their sacrifices and struggles to get an education, first in China and then in Canada. He shares his experiences as a young child left in the care of his grandparents in China and later as an only child adjusting to life in a new country, overwhelmed by his parents' expectations of academic achievement. Liu notes that he was compelled to share his story to illuminate how this drive for academic success in families comes with psychological scars from emotional, and sometimes physical, abuse. Liu later reconciled with his parents, and they share their story in hopes of helping other families break this pattern of behavior. Liu shares anecdotes about getting his first big break with Kim's Convenience, and the community of Asian American actors in Hollywood who embraced him. The majority of this compelling memoir is about his family experience. VERDICT A powerful story about a family struggling under the weight of definitions of sacrifice and success, and reconciliation and forgiveness.—Julie Feighery

Kirkus Reviews

2022-02-24
The star of Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings recounts how he overcame his tortured relationship with his immigrant Chinese parents to pursue his dream of becoming an actor.

Liu spent his youth with his loving paternal grandparents in Harbin, China, while his parents struggled to establish roots in the U.S. and, later, Canada. When he was reunited with his parents at the age of 4, they were unprepared to be parents. “Mom and Dad were about to experience the myriad of new responsibilities and burdens that came with raising a child,” he writes, “and would learn very quickly that ‘parenthood’ was a lot more complicated than just living together.” Liu vividly remembers that the first time he lied to his parents, when he was 5, they locked him out of the apartment, a punishment that led to a rupture of trust that was never fully repaired. Their relationship deteriorated further when Liu was accepted into a prestigious private school in Toronto, which required him to work harder than he ever had before at his academics—something that, as a young man, he had little interest in doing. Before detailing the physical abuse he suffered at the hands of his parents, he gives readers details about their earlier lives, which included a great deal of hardship. It wasn’t until Liu was laid off from his accounting job after college that he had the courage to admit to his parents—and himself—that he wanted to act. Today, he is the latest Marvel hero. Liu’s compassionate treatment of his abusive parents and his younger self results in a tender, nuanced narrative that is refreshing in its frankness. His focus on the pressure, rather than the promise, of the American dream actively subverts the model-minority myth. Though the prose is sometimes uneven, the book is mostly entertaining and nuanced.

A celebrity memoir that compassionately interrogates the dark side of the American dream.

Product Details

BN ID: 2940173171047
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 06/04/2022
Edition description: Unabridged

Customer Reviews