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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
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1800 - Present
New York Times Archive

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AMERICAN FICTION 1933

# Title Author Year Score
1Mark as read.Miss LonelyheartsNathanael West193313.22
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 256 (5.37 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 187 (3.40 points) | American Literature: 14 (2.20 points) | American Literary History: 6 (2.25 points)
2Mark as read.Human NatureEdith Wharton19338.81
Genre: Collection of Short Stories

Google Scholar: 0 (0.00 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 477 (4.56 points) | American Literature: 14 (2.20 points) | American Literary History: 5 (2.05 points)
3Mark as read.To a God UnknownJohn Steinbeck19337.23
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 39 (2.83 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 102 (2.78 points) | American Literature: 7 (1.61 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
4Mark as read.The Red PonyJohn Steinbeck19337.11
Genre: Novella

Google Scholar: 30 (2.56 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 134 (3.05 points) | American Literature: 6 (1.50 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
5Mark as read.God's Little AcreErskine Caldwell19337.04
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 41 (2.88 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 119 (2.93 points) | American Literature: 4 (1.22 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
6Mark as read.The DisinheritedJack Conroy19337.02
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 40 (2.86 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 34 (1.88 points) | American Literature: 3 (1.04 points) | American Literary History: 2 (1.24 points)
7Mark as read.Banana BottomClaude McKay19336.80
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 63 (3.37 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 88 (2.65 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 1 (0.79 points)
8Mark as read.Winner Take NothingErnest Hemingway19336.47
Genre: Collection of Short Stories

Google Scholar: 24 (2.35 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 58 (2.29 points) | American Literature: 3 (1.04 points) | American Literary History: 1 (0.79 points)
9Mark as read.Imitation of LifeFannie Hurst19335.93
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 52 (3.14 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 40 (2.00 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 1 (0.79 points)
10Mark as read.Comedy, American StyleJessie Fauset19335.85
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 31 (2.60 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 96 (2.73 points) | American Literature: 1 (0.53 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
11Mark as read.SonsPearl S. Buck19335.02
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 0 (0.00 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 97 (2.74 points) | American Literature: 3 (1.04 points) | American Literary History: 2 (1.24 points)
12Mark as read.South Moon UnderMarjorie Kinnan Rawlings19334.59
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 19 (2.14 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 36 (1.92 points) | American Literature: 1 (0.53 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
13Mark as read.Company KWilliam March19334.55
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 14 (1.89 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 23 (1.62 points) | American Literature: 3 (1.04 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
14Mark as read.Lamb in His BosomCaroline Miller19333.91
Genre: Novel

Pulitzer Prize Winner (1.00 point) | Google Scholar: 9 (1.55 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 15 (1.36 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
15Mark as read.We Are the LivingErskine Caldwell19333.78
Genre: Collection of Short Stories

Google Scholar: 41 (2.88 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 6 (0.90 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
16Mark as read.As the Earth TurnsGladys Hasty Carroll19333.69
Genre: Novel

Pulitzer Prize Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 16 (2.00 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 11 (1.19 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
17Mark as read.Ann VickersSinclair Lewis19333.62
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 0 (0.00 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 47 (2.12 points) | American Literature: 6 (1.50 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
18Mark as read.Great CircleConrad Aiken19333.18
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 0 (0.00 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 38 (1.96 points) | American Literature: 4 (1.22 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
19Mark as read.Anthony AdverseHervey Allen19333.14
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 1 (0.45 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 33 (1.86 points) | American Literature: 2 (0.83 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
20Mark as read.The Last AdamJames Gould Cozzens19332.84
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 0 (0.00 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 30 (1.79 points) | American Literature: 3 (1.04 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
21Mark as read.Death in the Woods and Other StoriesSherwood Anderson19332.38
Genre: Collection of Short Stories

Google Scholar: 9 (1.55 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 5 (0.82 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
22Mark as read.State FairPhil Stong19331.53
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.Miss Lonelyhearts (1933)
Nathanael West
13.22
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 256 (5.37 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 187 (3.40 points) | American Literature: 14 (2.20 points) | American Literary History: 6 (2.25 points)
2Mark as read.Human Nature (1933)
Edith Wharton
8.81
Genre: Collection of Short Stories

Google Scholar: 0 (0.00 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 477 (4.56 points) | American Literature: 14 (2.20 points) | American Literary History: 5 (2.05 points)
3Mark as read.To a God Unknown (1933)
John Steinbeck
7.23
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 39 (2.83 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 102 (2.78 points) | American Literature: 7 (1.61 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
4Mark as read.The Red Pony (1933)
John Steinbeck
7.11
Genre: Novella

Google Scholar: 30 (2.56 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 134 (3.05 points) | American Literature: 6 (1.50 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
5Mark as read.God's Little Acre (1933)
Erskine Caldwell
7.04
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 41 (2.88 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 119 (2.93 points) | American Literature: 4 (1.22 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
6Mark as read.The Disinherited (1933)
Jack Conroy
7.02
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 40 (2.86 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 34 (1.88 points) | American Literature: 3 (1.04 points) | American Literary History: 2 (1.24 points)
7Mark as read.Banana Bottom (1933)
Claude McKay
6.80
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 63 (3.37 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 88 (2.65 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 1 (0.79 points)
8Mark as read.Winner Take Nothing (1933)
Ernest Hemingway
6.47
Genre: Collection of Short Stories

Google Scholar: 24 (2.35 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 58 (2.29 points) | American Literature: 3 (1.04 points) | American Literary History: 1 (0.79 points)
9Mark as read.Imitation of Life (1933)
Fannie Hurst
5.93
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 52 (3.14 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 40 (2.00 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 1 (0.79 points)
10Mark as read.Comedy, American Style (1933)
Jessie Fauset
5.85
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 31 (2.60 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 96 (2.73 points) | American Literature: 1 (0.53 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
11Mark as read.Sons (1933)
Pearl S. Buck
5.02
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 0 (0.00 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 97 (2.74 points) | American Literature: 3 (1.04 points) | American Literary History: 2 (1.24 points)
12Mark as read.South Moon Under (1933)
Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings
4.59
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 19 (2.14 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 36 (1.92 points) | American Literature: 1 (0.53 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
13Mark as read.Company K (1933)
William March
4.55
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 14 (1.89 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 23 (1.62 points) | American Literature: 3 (1.04 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
14Mark as read.Lamb in His Bosom (1933)
Caroline Miller
3.91
Genre: Novel

Pulitzer Prize Winner (1.00 point) | Google Scholar: 9 (1.55 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 15 (1.36 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
15Mark as read.We Are the Living (1933)
Erskine Caldwell
3.78
Genre: Collection of Short Stories

Google Scholar: 41 (2.88 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 6 (0.90 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
16Mark as read.As the Earth Turns (1933)
Gladys Hasty Carroll
3.69
Genre: Novel

Pulitzer Prize Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 16 (2.00 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 11 (1.19 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
17Mark as read.Ann Vickers (1933)
Sinclair Lewis
3.62
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 0 (0.00 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 47 (2.12 points) | American Literature: 6 (1.50 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
18Mark as read.Great Circle (1933)
Conrad Aiken
3.18
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 0 (0.00 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 38 (1.96 points) | American Literature: 4 (1.22 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
19Mark as read.Anthony Adverse (1933)
Hervey Allen
3.14
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 1 (0.45 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 33 (1.86 points) | American Literature: 2 (0.83 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
20Mark as read.The Last Adam (1933)
James Gould Cozzens
2.84
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 0 (0.00 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 30 (1.79 points) | American Literature: 3 (1.04 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
21Mark as read.Death in the Woods and Other Stories (1933)
Sherwood Anderson
2.38
Genre: Collection of Short Stories

Google Scholar: 9 (1.55 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 5 (0.82 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
22Mark as read.State Fair (1933)
Phil Stong
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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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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