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Simu Liu was one of the breakout stars of 2021 and now the hero of Marvel’s Shang-Chi and The Legend of The Ten Rings is telling his own story, in his own words.
The actor took to Instagram Tuesday to unveil the cover for his new memoir, We Were Dreamers: An Immigrant Superhero Origin Story. The book, which Liu says was “three years in the making,” chronicles the 32-year-old’s unlikely journey to stardom, from his humble upbringing in Harbin, China to his emigration to Canada, where he went to business school and worked as an accountant before finding his calling in the arts.
Liu calls the process of writing a memoir a “deeply personal journey,” adding on Instagram that he’s “finally ready to share with you this hilarious and heartfelt story of coming of age in a foreign land of poutine and Tim Horton’s double-doubles, struggling to find your footing, then ultimately learning to seize the moment and own your greatness.”
According to publisher William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins, the book is less a “celebrity memoir” and more of an immigrant story of “growing up between cultures, finding your family, and becoming the master of your own extraordinary circumstance.”
Liu, who spent five seasons on the Canadian comedy series, Kim’s Convenience, writes about shaking the “model-minority Asian” card, as well as the experiences that pushed him to leave the “comfort zone” of a finance career to pursue acting.
The book is also a reconciliation story to an extent: Liu’s parents left him in the care of his grandparents in China as a toddler, while they went to Canada to set up a better future for the family. By the time Liu reunited with his family in Toronto, he was four years old and, as the publisher notes explain, “emotionally distant and difficult to relate to… separated by culture, language and values.”
Liu is decidedly closer to his parents these days, as evidenced by their countless appearances on his social media feed. In addition to recounting his experiences of breaking into Hollywood, Liu spent time talking to his parents about their journey, which informed entire passages of the book.
As Liu notes in a press release, “This is the story I want to tell—a story about our little family of three that crossed the ocean from China to North America in the relentless pursuit of a better life. A story about the obstacles that nearly tore us apart, whether it was a clash of cultures, a gap of generations or simply our own stubbornness. A story about an imperfect family that made mistakes, often hurt one another and nearly imploded on many occasions, but held on, survived and even thrived.”
Liu first teased the book back in June, tweeting simply that he, “wrote a book.” His new post reveals contributions from Olivia Munn, fellow Canadian superhero Ryan Reynolds, and Shang-Chi co-star Ronny Chieng, who all supply quotes for the cover.
I wrote a book. pic.twitter.com/Xb4o7qFkpQ
— Simu Liu (刘思慕) (@SimuLiu) June 10, 2021
“We Were Dreamers: An Immigrant Superhero Origin Story” will hit bookstores on May 3. You can pre-order the book now on Amazon.
Liu fittingly dropped his book announcement on the first day of the Lunar New Year — 2022 celebrates the year of the Tiger, the third of the 12 animals which appear in the traditional Chinese zodiac.