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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 1936

# Title Author Year Score
1Mark as read.Absalom, Absalom!William Faulkner193621.89
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 797 (7.60 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 1110 (5.86 points) | American Literature: 110 (4.76 points) | American Literary History: 18 (3.67 points)
2Mark as read.Gone with the WindMargaret Mitchell193616.04
Genre: Novel

Pulitzer Prize Winner (1.00 point) | Google Scholar: 573 (6.89 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 254 (3.75 points) | American Literature: 11 (1.98 points) | American Literary History: 7 (2.42 points)
3Mark as read.NightwoodDjuna Barnes193612.12
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 208 (5.03 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 348 (4.14 points) | American Literature: 8 (1.72 points) | American Literary History: 2 (1.24 points)
4Mark as read.The Big MoneyJohn Dos Passos193610.20
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 64 (3.39 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 128 (3.00 points) | American Literature: 11 (1.98 points) | American Literary History: 4 (1.83 points)
5Mark as read.In Dubious BattleJohn Steinbeck19369.06
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 89 (3.80 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 168 (3.28 points) | American Literature: 11 (1.98 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
6Mark as read.Black SpringHenry Miller19367.71
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 30 (2.56 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 78 (2.54 points) | American Literature: 5 (1.37 points) | American Literary History: 2 (1.24 points)
7Mark as read.At the Mountains of MadnessH. P. Lovecraft19366.20
Genre: Novella

Google Scholar: 58 (3.27 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 34 (1.88 points) | American Literature: 3 (1.04 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
8Mark as read.We The LivingAyn Rand 19365.13
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 44 (2.96 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 50 (2.17 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
9Mark as read.Drums Along the MohawkWalter D. Edmonds19364.63
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 27 (2.46 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 24 (1.65 points) | American Literature: 1 (0.53 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
10Mark as read.The World OverEdith Wharton19363.25
Genre: Mixed Genre

Google Scholar: 0 (0.00 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 52 (2.20 points) | American Literature: 3 (1.04 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
11Mark as read.Mountain PathHarriet Arnow19361.20
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 2 (0.71 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 2 (0.50 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
# Score
1Mark as read.Absalom, Absalom! (1936)
William Faulkner
21.89
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 797 (7.60 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 1110 (5.86 points) | American Literature: 110 (4.76 points) | American Literary History: 18 (3.67 points)
2Mark as read.Gone with the Wind (1936)
Margaret Mitchell
16.04
Genre: Novel

Pulitzer Prize Winner (1.00 point) | Google Scholar: 573 (6.89 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 254 (3.75 points) | American Literature: 11 (1.98 points) | American Literary History: 7 (2.42 points)
3Mark as read.Nightwood (1936)
Djuna Barnes
12.12
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 208 (5.03 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 348 (4.14 points) | American Literature: 8 (1.72 points) | American Literary History: 2 (1.24 points)
4Mark as read.The Big Money (1936)
John Dos Passos
10.20
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 64 (3.39 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 128 (3.00 points) | American Literature: 11 (1.98 points) | American Literary History: 4 (1.83 points)
5Mark as read.In Dubious Battle (1936)
John Steinbeck
9.06
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 89 (3.80 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 168 (3.28 points) | American Literature: 11 (1.98 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
6Mark as read.Black Spring (1936)
Henry Miller
7.71
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 30 (2.56 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 78 (2.54 points) | American Literature: 5 (1.37 points) | American Literary History: 2 (1.24 points)
7Mark as read.At the Mountains of Madness (1936)
H. P. Lovecraft
6.20
Genre: Novella

Google Scholar: 58 (3.27 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 34 (1.88 points) | American Literature: 3 (1.04 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
8Mark as read.We The Living (1936)
Ayn Rand
5.13
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 44 (2.96 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 50 (2.17 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
9Mark as read.Drums Along the Mohawk (1936)
Walter D. Edmonds
4.63
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 27 (2.46 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 24 (1.65 points) | American Literature: 1 (0.53 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
10Mark as read.The World Over (1936)
Edith Wharton
3.25
Genre: Mixed Genre

Google Scholar: 0 (0.00 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 52 (2.20 points) | American Literature: 3 (1.04 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
11Mark as read.Mountain Path (1936)
Harriet Arnow
1.20
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 2 (0.71 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 2 (0.50 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 .

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Change the weight of these data points in order to change the shape of your canon.







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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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