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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 1941

# Title Author Year Score
1Mark as read.The Last TycoonF. Scott Fitzgerald194112.16
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 77 (3.61 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 254 (3.75 points) | American Literature: 20 (2.55 points) | American Literary History: 6 (2.25 points)
2Mark as read.The Real Life of Sebastian KnightVladimir Nabokov19418.76
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 191 (4.89 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 177 (3.34 points) | American Literature: 1 (0.53 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
3Mark as read.A Curtain of GreenEudora Welty19417.39
Genre: Collection of Short Stories

Google Scholar: 62 (3.35 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 106 (2.82 points) | American Literature: 4 (1.22 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
4Mark as read.In This Our LifeEllen Glasgow19416.35
Genre: Novel

Pulitzer Prize Winner (1.00 point) | Google Scholar: 10 (1.63 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 40 (2.00 points) | American Literature: 8 (1.72 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
5Mark as read.Reflections in a Golden EyeCarson McCullers19415.91
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 37 (2.78 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 84 (2.61 points) | American Literature: 1 (0.53 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
6Mark as read.Mildred PierceJames M. Cain19415.82
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 14 (1.89 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 32 (1.84 points) | American Literature: 1 (0.53 points) | American Literary History: 3 (1.57 points)
7Mark as read.What Makes Sammy Run?Budd Schulberg19415.73
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 87 (3.77 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 38 (1.96 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
8Mark as read.Blood on the ForgeWilliam Attaway19414.76
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 37 (2.78 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 39 (1.98 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
9Mark as read.Ida: A NovelGertrude Stein19413.58
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 9 (1.55 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 19 (1.50 points) | American Literature: 1 (0.53 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
10Mark as read.The Wife of Martin GuerreJanet Lewis19413.58
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 8 (1.47 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 46 (2.11 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
11Mark as read.DelilahMarcus Goodrich19412.13
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 2 (0.71 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 6 (0.90 points) | American Literature: 1 (0.53 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
12Mark as read.The Black CurtainCornell Woolrich19411.63
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 3 (0.90 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 4 (0.73 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
13Mark as read.China SkyPearl S. Buck19411.49
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 5 (1.17 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 1 (0.32 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
14Mark as read.The Worn PathEudora Welty19411.28
Genre: Mixed Genre

Google Scholar: 0 (0.00 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 13 (1.28 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
# Score
1Mark as read.The Last Tycoon (1941)
F. Scott Fitzgerald
12.16
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 77 (3.61 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 254 (3.75 points) | American Literature: 20 (2.55 points) | American Literary History: 6 (2.25 points)
2Mark as read.The Real Life of Sebastian Knight (1941)
Vladimir Nabokov
8.76
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 191 (4.89 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 177 (3.34 points) | American Literature: 1 (0.53 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
3Mark as read.A Curtain of Green (1941)
Eudora Welty
7.39
Genre: Collection of Short Stories

Google Scholar: 62 (3.35 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 106 (2.82 points) | American Literature: 4 (1.22 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
4Mark as read.In This Our Life (1941)
Ellen Glasgow
6.35
Genre: Novel

Pulitzer Prize Winner (1.00 point) | Google Scholar: 10 (1.63 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 40 (2.00 points) | American Literature: 8 (1.72 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
5Mark as read.Reflections in a Golden Eye (1941)
Carson McCullers
5.91
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 37 (2.78 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 84 (2.61 points) | American Literature: 1 (0.53 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
6Mark as read.Mildred Pierce (1941)
James M. Cain
5.82
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 14 (1.89 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 32 (1.84 points) | American Literature: 1 (0.53 points) | American Literary History: 3 (1.57 points)
7Mark as read.What Makes Sammy Run? (1941)
Budd Schulberg
5.73
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 87 (3.77 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 38 (1.96 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
8Mark as read.Blood on the Forge (1941)
William Attaway
4.76
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 37 (2.78 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 39 (1.98 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
9Mark as read.Ida: A Novel (1941)
Gertrude Stein
3.58
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 9 (1.55 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 19 (1.50 points) | American Literature: 1 (0.53 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
10Mark as read.The Wife of Martin Guerre (1941)
Janet Lewis
3.58
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 8 (1.47 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 46 (2.11 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
11Mark as read.Delilah (1941)
Marcus Goodrich
2.13
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 2 (0.71 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 6 (0.90 points) | American Literature: 1 (0.53 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
12Mark as read.The Black Curtain (1941)
Cornell Woolrich
1.63
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 3 (0.90 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 4 (0.73 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
13Mark as read.China Sky (1941)
Pearl S. Buck
1.49
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 5 (1.17 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 1 (0.32 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
14Mark as read.The Worn Path (1941)
Eudora Welty
1.28
Genre: Mixed Genre

Google Scholar: 0 (0.00 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 13 (1.28 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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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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