A Level English Literature Books 

A Level English Literature Books 

Choosing the right books for A Level English Literature is crucial. These texts not only shape your understanding of literary styles and themes but also prepare you for in-depth analysis and discussion. In 2024, the selection includes a mix of classic novels, Shakespearean plays, modern classics, contemporary literature, and more. Let’s explore these exciting titles.

Classic Novels

Dracula by Bram Stoker

“Dracula” is a quintessential Gothic novel. It follows the tale of Count Dracula’s attempt to move from Transylvania to England to spread the undead curse. Key themes include the clash between modernity and tradition, fear of the unknown, and sexuality. The novel’s epistolary format provides multiple perspectives, adding to the suspense and horror.

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice” is a classic romantic novel that explores themes of love, class, and reputation. The story revolves around Elizabeth Bennet and her evolving relationship with Mr. Darcy. Austen’s sharp wit and social commentary make this a staple in literary studies.

Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë

“Wuthering Heights” is a tale of passion and revenge set against the bleak Yorkshire moors. The tumultuous relationship between Heathcliff and Catherine Earnshaw is at the heart of this novel. Themes include the destructive power of love and the social and physical environment’s influence on human behavior.

Shakespearean Plays


“To be or not to be, that is the question.” Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” is a tragedy that delves into themes of revenge, madness, and mortality. The play’s exploration of existential questions and the human condition makes it a rich text for study.

The Tempest

The Tempest” is one of Shakespeare’s later plays, blending elements of magic, betrayal, and forgiveness. Prospero’s journey from vengeance to mercy highlights the themes of power, redemption, and the natural world.

Modern Classics

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

Atwood’s dystopian novel, “The Handmaid’s Tale,” explores themes of totalitarianism, gender oppression, and resistance. Set in a future where a theocratic regime controls women’s bodies, the narrative follows Offred, a handmaid who dreams of freedom.

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey

This novel is set in a psychiatric hospital and critiques institutionalization and the dehumanizing aspects of mental health care. The protagonist, Randle McMurphy, becomes a symbol of individuality and rebellion against oppressive systems.

Contemporary Literature

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

“The Kite Runner” tells the story of Amir, a young boy from a wealthy family, and Hassan, his servant’s son, in Afghanistan. The novel explores themes of redemption, betrayal, and the complex nature of friendship.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon

This unique novel is narrated by Christopher, a boy with autism, as he investigates the death of a neighbor’s dog. Themes include the challenges of living with autism, family dynamics, and the search for truth.

Plays and Dramas

A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams

Williams’ play centers on Blanche DuBois, a woman struggling with her fading youth and traumatic past. Themes of desire, mental illness, and the clash between reality and illusion are prominent.

Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller

This play is a critical look at the American Dream through the life of Willy Loman, a struggling salesman. Themes include identity, family expectations, and societal pressures.

Gothic and Horror

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

Shelley’s “Frankenstein” is a foundational Gothic novel that raises questions about creation, responsibility, and the limits of scientific exploration. The tragic tale of Victor Frankenstein and his monstrous creation explores the consequences of playing God.

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

This novel tells the story of Dorian Gray, a young man whose portrait ages while he remains youthful. Themes of vanity, morality, and the duality of human nature are central to Wilde’s work.


Selected Poems of Emily Dickinson

Dickinson’s poetry often explores themes of death, immortality, and nature. Her innovative use of language and form makes her work a rich subject for literary analysis.

The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge

This narrative poem tells the story of a mariner who brings a curse upon his ship by killing an albatross. Themes of guilt, redemption, and the natural world are explored through vivid imagery and symbolism.

Modern Plays

Translations by Brian Friel

Friel’s play addresses issues of language, identity, and cultural imperialism in 19th century Ireland. The conflict between English and Irish languages reflects broader themes of colonization and resistance.

Enduring Love by Ian McEwan

This novel begins with a ballooning accident and spirals into a psychological thriller. Themes of obsession, love, and the subjective nature of reality are explored through McEwan’s meticulous prose.

Dystopian Novels

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

Huxley’s novel presents a future society driven by technological advancements and consumerism. Themes of control, freedom, and the loss of individuality are central to this dystopian vision.

1984 by George Orwell

Orwell’s “1984” is a chilling portrayal of totalitarianism and surveillance. Themes of truth, power, and individuality are explored through the experiences of Winston Smith in a society where Big Brother watches all.

TitleAuthorPublication Date
DraculaBram Stoker1897
Pride and PrejudiceJane Austen1813
Wuthering HeightsEmily Brontë1847
HamletWilliam Shakespeare1603
The Handmaid’s TaleMargaret Atwood1985
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s NestKen Kesey1962
The Kite RunnerKhaled Hosseini2003
The Picture of Dorian GrayOscar Wilde1890
The Great GatsbyF. Scott Fitzgerald1925
The TempestWilliam Shakespeare1611
A Streetcar Named DesireTennessee Williams1947
The Glass MenagerieTennessee Williams1944
Death of a SalesmanArthur Miller1949
BirdsongSebastian Faulks1993
Twelfth NightWilliam Shakespeare1602
In Cold BloodTruman Capote1966
Brave New WorldAldous Huxley1932
FrankensteinMary Wollstonecraft Shelley1818
Dr. FaustusChristopher Marlowe1604
The Importance of Being EarnestOscar Wilde1895
The Rime of the Ancient MarinerSamuel Taylor Coleridge1798
A Room with a ViewE.M. Forster1908
Naked LunchWilliam S. Burroughs1959
Paradise LostJohn Milton1667
TranslationsBrian Friel1980
Small IslandAndrea Levy2004
The BeachAlex Garland1996
Of Mice and MenJohn Steinbeck1937
OthelloWilliam Shakespeare1604
Selected Poems of Emily DickinsonEmily Dickinson1890 (posthumously)
The Complete StoriesFlannery O’Connor1971
Oryx and CrakeMargaret Atwood2003
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. HydeRobert Louis Stevenson1886
Antony and CleopatraWilliam Shakespeare1607
BelovedToni Morrison1987
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-TimeMark Haddon2003
The Book ThiefMarkus Zusak2005
The Bloody ChamberAngela Carter1979
Enduring LoveIan McEwan1997
The SpireRichard North Patterson2009
The Satanic VersesSalman Rushdie1988
Wise ChildrenAngela Carter1991
The White DevilJohn Webster1612
The Color PurpleAlice Walker1982


What makes a book suitable for A Level English Literature?

A suitable book for A Level English Literature offers complex themes, rich language, and depth of characterization. It explores universal themes like love, conflict, and identity, providing ample material for critical analysis.

How can I choose the right books for my A Level course?

Choose books that:

  1. Align with the syllabus.
  2. Are critically acclaimed.
  3. Cover diverse themes.
  4. Interest you personally.
  5. Are recommended by teachers.

Are contemporary books included in the A Level syllabus?

Yes, contemporary books are included to reflect diverse voices and current issues, alongside traditional classics.

How do themes in literature help in understanding the text better?

Themes provide deeper meaning and help readers:

  1. Understand the author’s purpose.
  2. Analyze characters.
  3. Identify recurring motifs.
  4. Contextualize the text.
  5. Engage critically.

Can non-English authors be included in the A Level English Literature syllabus?

Yes, non-English authors can be included if their works are in English or translated. This broadens the scope of study and exposes students to diverse cultural perspectives.

Also read: World Literature Books | Must-Read Top 10 World Literature Books

By Romana

Hi everyone I'm Romana the creator of "Literaturebs.Online". I've always had a passion for stories, so I decided to build this space to share my love of literature with fellow bookworms like you. From classic novels to modern masterpieces, I hope to inspire and engage readers of all ages. Join me as we embark on a journey through the wonderful world of words!"

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