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.

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The Lonely Londoners by Sam Selvon (1956)

Set in 1950s London, this is the story of the arrival of hopeful immigrants, including Moses Aloetta, and their journey in learning how to survive and come to love what London has to offer. 

The Lonely Londoners
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Never Let Me Go
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Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro (2005)

A dystopian science-fiction novel narrated by Kathy, who reflects on her time at boarding school in England, where all is not as it seems. The story explores love, friendship and memory.

Beloved by Toni Morrison (1987)

A story which follows the experiences of Sethe, abandoned by her sons and living with her youngest daughter in Cincinnati, in the aftermath of the American Civil War. The themes of this novel touch upon slavery and violence.

Beloved
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A Thousand Splendid Suns

A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini (2007)

This story follows fifteen-year-old Mariam’s arranged marriage to Rasheed and later her unlikely friendship with teenager, Laila. The themes of this novel explore a mother and daughter relationship in war-torn Afghanistan.

The Colour Purple by Alice Walker (1982)

A powerful novel following a young black girl born into poverty and segregation in the deep American South. The themes address several issues faced by African-American women in the 1930s, including violence and separation.

The Colour Purple

We have also produced a selection of coursework guides for teachers and students to use when considering their coursework text choices, covering Black British Literature, LGBTQ+ and British Asian literature.

View and download the guides