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METACANON 0.7
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METACANON 0.7

This is not a greatest books list.

Metacanon is a database that offers an alternative to the genre of the greatest books list. Unlike lists compiled by individuals or small committees of experts, metacanon builds custom book lists by culling data from tens of thousands of scholarly texts. This data-driven approach results in a more comprehensive, flexible, and inclusive gateway into the canon(s).

Metacanon 0.7 is limited primarily to American fiction after 1800, but future updates will expand to include other areas, genres, and periods.

Use the menu below to generate your own version of the canon.

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19th Century
20th Century
1800 - Present
New York Times Archive

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AMERICAN FICTION 1932

# Title Author Year Score
1Mark as read.Light in AugustWilliam Faulkner193218.12
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 336 (5.85 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 788 (5.30 points) | American Literature: 87 (4.40 points) | American Literary History: 8 (2.58 points)
2Mark as read.Infants of the SpringWallace Thurman19328.39
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 69 (3.48 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 86 (2.63 points) | American Literature: 3 (1.04 points) | American Literary History: 2 (1.24 points)
3Mark as read.Tobacco RoadErskine Caldwell19328.04
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 56 (3.23 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 155 (3.20 points) | American Literature: 7 (1.61 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
4Mark as read.The Sheltered LifeEllen Glasgow19327.47
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 29 (2.53 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 91 (2.68 points) | American Literature: 15 (2.27 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
5Mark as read.The Gods ArriveEdith Wharton19326.97
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 11 (1.70 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 100 (2.77 points) | American Literature: 8 (1.72 points) | American Literary History: 1 (0.79 points)
6Mark as read.Obscure DestiniesWilla Cather19326.80
Genre: Collection of Short Stories

Google Scholar: 26 (2.43 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 89 (2.66 points) | American Literature: 8 (1.72 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
7Mark as read.The Pastures of HeavenJohn Steinbeck19326.63
Genre: Collection of Short Stories

Google Scholar: 30 (2.56 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 109 (2.85 points) | American Literature: 4 (1.22 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
8Mark as read.To Make My BreadGrace Lumpkin19326.51
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 32 (2.63 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 31 (1.82 points) | American Literature: 2 (0.83 points) | American Literary History: 2 (1.24 points)
9Mark as read.Nineteen NineteenJohn Dos Passos19326.35
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 31 (2.60 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 28 (1.75 points) | American Literature: 4 (1.22 points) | American Literary History: 1 (0.79 points)
10Mark as read.Little House on the PrairieLaura Ingalls Wilder19326.04
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 28 (2.50 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 130 (3.02 points) | American Literature: 1 (0.53 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
11Mark as read.Young LoniganJames T. Farrell19325.69
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 43 (2.93 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 38 (1.96 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 1 (0.79 points)
12Mark as read.Guys and DollsDamon Runyon19324.87
Genre: Collection of Short Stories

Google Scholar: 11 (1.70 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 65 (2.38 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 1 (0.79 points)
13Mark as read.The StoreThomas Sigismund Stribling19324.62
Genre: Novel

Pulitzer Prize Winner (1.00 point) | Google Scholar: 41 (2.88 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 4 (0.73 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
14Mark as read.Mutiny on the BountyCharles Nordhoff19324.13
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 32 (2.63 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 19 (1.50 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
15Mark as read.GingertownClaude McKay19323.33
Genre: Collection of Short Stories

Google Scholar: 10 (1.63 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 26 (1.70 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
16Mark as read.The InterneWallace Thurman19321.76
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 0 (0.00 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 7 (0.97 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 1 (0.79 points)
17Mark as read.The Wet ParadeUpton Sinclair19321.53
Genre: Mixed Genre

Google Scholar: 2 (0.71 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 5 (0.82 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
# Score
1Mark as read.Light in August (1932)
William Faulkner
18.12
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 336 (5.85 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 788 (5.30 points) | American Literature: 87 (4.40 points) | American Literary History: 8 (2.58 points)
2Mark as read.Infants of the Spring (1932)
Wallace Thurman
8.39
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 69 (3.48 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 86 (2.63 points) | American Literature: 3 (1.04 points) | American Literary History: 2 (1.24 points)
3Mark as read.Tobacco Road (1932)
Erskine Caldwell
8.04
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 56 (3.23 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 155 (3.20 points) | American Literature: 7 (1.61 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
4Mark as read.The Sheltered Life (1932)
Ellen Glasgow
7.47
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 29 (2.53 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 91 (2.68 points) | American Literature: 15 (2.27 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
5Mark as read.The Gods Arrive (1932)
Edith Wharton
6.97
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 11 (1.70 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 100 (2.77 points) | American Literature: 8 (1.72 points) | American Literary History: 1 (0.79 points)
6Mark as read.Obscure Destinies (1932)
Willa Cather
6.80
Genre: Collection of Short Stories

Google Scholar: 26 (2.43 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 89 (2.66 points) | American Literature: 8 (1.72 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
7Mark as read.The Pastures of Heaven (1932)
John Steinbeck
6.63
Genre: Collection of Short Stories

Google Scholar: 30 (2.56 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 109 (2.85 points) | American Literature: 4 (1.22 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
8Mark as read.To Make My Bread (1932)
Grace Lumpkin
6.51
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 32 (2.63 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 31 (1.82 points) | American Literature: 2 (0.83 points) | American Literary History: 2 (1.24 points)
9Mark as read.Nineteen Nineteen (1932)
John Dos Passos
6.35
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 31 (2.60 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 28 (1.75 points) | American Literature: 4 (1.22 points) | American Literary History: 1 (0.79 points)
10Mark as read.Little House on the Prairie (1932)
Laura Ingalls Wilder
6.04
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 28 (2.50 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 130 (3.02 points) | American Literature: 1 (0.53 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
11Mark as read.Young Lonigan (1932)
James T. Farrell
5.69
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 43 (2.93 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 38 (1.96 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 1 (0.79 points)
12Mark as read.Guys and Dolls (1932)
Damon Runyon
4.87
Genre: Collection of Short Stories

Google Scholar: 11 (1.70 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 65 (2.38 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 1 (0.79 points)
13Mark as read.The Store (1932)
Thomas Sigismund Stribling
4.62
Genre: Novel

Pulitzer Prize Winner (1.00 point) | Google Scholar: 41 (2.88 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 4 (0.73 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
14Mark as read.Mutiny on the Bounty (1932)
Charles Nordhoff
4.13
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 32 (2.63 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 19 (1.50 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
15Mark as read.Gingertown (1932)
Claude McKay
3.33
Genre: Collection of Short Stories

Google Scholar: 10 (1.63 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 26 (1.70 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
16Mark as read.The Interne (1932)
Wallace Thurman
1.76
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 0 (0.00 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 7 (0.97 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 1 (0.79 points)
17Mark as read.The Wet Parade (1932)
Upton Sinclair
1.53
Genre: Mixed Genre

Google Scholar: 2 (0.71 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 5 (0.82 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)

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Include only:

Include only works published between and .

Althorithm Modifications

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N-gram Frequency Correction.

Titles consisting of words or phrases that are exceedingly common in the English language corpus (such as Stephen King's It or Joyce Carol Oates's them) tend to be overrepresented in search results, thus resulting in an articially inflated citation count. To counteract this tendency, Metacanon adjusts the scores for these works accordingly. Scores subjected to n-gram frequency correction are estimates only and are marked with an asterisk. N-gram freqencies are drawn from the Corpus of Contemporary American English, a project created by Mark Davies.


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Non-unique author Correction.

Books by authors with a non-unique name (for example "Winston Churchill," the American novelist) tend to be overrepresented in search results, thus resulting in an articially inflated citation count. To counteract this tendency, Metacanon adjusts the scores for these works accordingly. Scores subjected to non-unique author correction are estimates only and are marked with a dagger.


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