English Literature's diversity

The choice of teachers' 100 favourite books all over the media last week reflects contemporary concerns about issues of gender, race and sexuality. The book list reflects the range of great literature in English today on the three perspectives.

However, it is important not to overlook the fact that writing in English goes back more than 1,000 years - to well before Geoffrey Chaucer's Canterbury Tales (1387). In terms of the 20th century, there are important writers not on the list - most notably Ernest Hemingway and James Joyce.

The range of people writing from different perspectives in English - both now and historically - makes it perhaps unique among major world literatures,

Shouvik Datta, teacher of English as a foreign language, Kent.

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