Who are we? MRU – micro readers united – is an international short story reading group that began in Shanghai in September 2009. We have read an amazing number of short stories, which have been argued over countless cups of coffee, glasses of wine and bottles of beer (lots of food too). We had a couple inspirations – first was the lack of time to read an entire book (gasp!) in time for a monthly book club and second the exorbitant prices of imported English books at the time.
We wanted readings that were accessible and intriguing to a variety of readers. Our members came from across the world and different backgrounds, which made the discussions especially lively and valuable.
Our focus has been (from the very beginning) discovering short stories of different genres in English or translated into English from around the world. And we hope you are inspired to read more short stories here!
What is an MRU selection? Each carefully selected group of stories is available online. Thank you to the many dedicated blogs, journals and magazines that promote literature and the works of new and well established writers. We encourage you to start your own short story discussion using the MRU selections. And tell us what you thought of the stories we chose.
Why short stories? The length of short stories engages more readers to join a discussion. Reading a short story or novel extract also attracts new fans to the writing and challenges a reader with different genres and styles.
When do we meet? Discussion generates opinions and perspectives that cross cultures and life experiences, which truly enriches our understanding and appreciation of a story. We usually give our readers two weeks to digest all the stories and meet once a month over a beer or coffee. Now that we are located in Vancouver, Canada we hope to meet you for our first West Coast meeting. Join the email list for updates – we would love to connect.
How do we choose MRU stories? The guidelines for each of the carefully selected stories:
- regions – represent different countries
- languages – translated stories
- writers – new(er) and more established authors
- genres and styles – including crime, magic realism, science fiction
- novel excerpts and essays are also considered