A level texts

We want to ensure that students are being exposed to literature from a variety of British authors from different backgrounds, and are reading about contemporary issues that they can engage with and relate to.

Here you'll find information about the texts on our Pearson Edexcel A level English Literature text list that align with our commitment to maximising diversity in curriculum. There are four new texts available for first teach in September 2022, you can read more about their addition to the syllabus here

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The four new texts


Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie (2018)

The novel centres on the Pasha family, three British Pakistani siblings trying to make their way in the world after the death of their mother, in the absence of their jihadi father. It explores themes of cultural identity and alienation, a thoughtful and nuanced reflection on Britishness, and conflicting loyalties.

The Colour Purple by Alice Walker (1982)

A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini (2007)

Sweat by Lynn Nottage (2015)

This play portrays the anger and despair of women workers amidst the demise of a steelworks in the early 2000s, exploring the devastating impact of loss of work and of de-industrialisation on modern America.


Les Blancs by Lorraine Hansberry (2009)

Tshembe Matoseh returns to Africa from his new home in Europe to attend the funeral of his father, a village leader. Confronting the different perspectives of his countrymen, his brother (now a Catholic priest), the Europeans who staff the missionary clinic, and an American journalist, Tshembe finds himself drawn into the anti-colonial struggle igniting around him.

The Colour Purple by Alice Walker (1982)

A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini (2007)

The Cutting Season by Attica Locke (2013)

A tense thriller, this novel sets a murder mystery against a backdrop of modern American tensions, exploring the central character’s determination to achieve justice for a murdered migrant labourer while also struggling to deal with her own family history and make a life for herself and her daughter.