Teachers' 100 is rather telling

The choice of teachers' 100 favourite books ("Shelf assessment", Cover story, 5 April) reflects contemporary concerns about issues relating to gender, race and sexuality, and the range of great literature in English today on the three perspectives.

It is, however, 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. Later, Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels (1726) is a brilliant satirical work and a great critique of the uses and abuses of power. 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, now and historically, makes it perhaps unique among major world literatures.

Shouvik Datta, Teacher of English as a foreign language.

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