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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 1946

# Title Author Year Score
1Mark as read.All the King's MenRobert Penn Warren194616.70
Genre: Novel

Pulitzer Prize Winner (1.00 point) | Google Scholar: 315 (5.73 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 452 (4.48 points) | American Literature: 37 (3.24 points) | American Literary History: 6 (2.25 points)
2Mark as read.America Is in the HeartCarlos Bulosan194611.82
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 350 (5.92 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 174 (3.32 points) | American Literature: 1 (0.53 points) | American Literary History: 5 (2.05 points)
3Mark as read.The Member of the WeddingCarson McCullers194610.17
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 179 (4.79 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 140 (3.09 points) | American Literature: 3 (1.04 points) | American Literary History: 2 (1.24 points)
4Mark as read.The StreetAnn Petry19468.10*Score adjusted to correct for title consisting of an n-gram occuring with high frequency in the English language corpus.
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 116 (4.15 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 191 (2.34 points)*Score adjusted to correct for title consisting of an n-gram occuring with high frequency in the English language corpus. | American Literature: 3 (0.52 points)*Score adjusted to correct for title consisting of an n-gram occuring with high frequency in the English language corpus. | American Literary History: 5 (1.09 points)*Score adjusted to correct for title consisting of an n-gram occuring with high frequency in the English language corpus.

N-gram Frequency Correction: -67.66%
5Mark as read.The BulwarkTheodore Dreiser19467.11
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 5 (1.17 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 87 (2.64 points) | American Literature: 12 (2.06 points) | American Literary History: 2 (1.24 points)
6Mark as read.Blackberry WinterRobert Penn Warren19464.68
Genre: Novella

Google Scholar: 9 (1.55 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 59 (2.30 points) | American Literature: 2 (0.83 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
7Mark as read.The Big ClockKenneth Fearing19463.85
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 10 (1.63 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 17 (1.43 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 1 (0.79 points)
8Mark as read.Nightmare AlleyWilliam Lindsay Gresham19462.58
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 9 (1.55 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 8 (1.03 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
9Mark as read.I Married a Dead ManCornell Woolrich19462.26
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 5 (1.17 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 9 (1.09 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
10Mark as read.The Horizontal ManHelen Eustis19461.52
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 3 (0.90 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 3 (0.63 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
11Mark as read.Dark PassageDavid Goodis19461.44
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 2 (0.71 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 4 (0.73 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
12Mark as read.QualityCid Ricketts Sumner19460.77*Score adjusted to correct for title consisting of an n-gram occuring with high frequency in the English language corpus.
Genre: Mixed Genre

Google Scholar: 0 (0.00 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 10 (0.53 points)*Score adjusted to correct for title consisting of an n-gram occuring with high frequency in the English language corpus. | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points)*Score adjusted to correct for title consisting of an n-gram occuring with high frequency in the English language corpus. | American Literary History: 1 (0.24 points)*Score adjusted to correct for title consisting of an n-gram occuring with high frequency in the English language corpus.

N-gram Frequency Correction: -77.69%
# Score
1Mark as read.All the King's Men (1946)
Robert Penn Warren
16.70
Genre: Novel

Pulitzer Prize Winner (1.00 point) | Google Scholar: 315 (5.73 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 452 (4.48 points) | American Literature: 37 (3.24 points) | American Literary History: 6 (2.25 points)
2Mark as read.America Is in the Heart (1946)
Carlos Bulosan
11.82
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 350 (5.92 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 174 (3.32 points) | American Literature: 1 (0.53 points) | American Literary History: 5 (2.05 points)
3Mark as read.The Member of the Wedding (1946)
Carson McCullers
10.17
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 179 (4.79 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 140 (3.09 points) | American Literature: 3 (1.04 points) | American Literary History: 2 (1.24 points)
4Mark as read.The Street (1946)
Ann Petry
8.10*Score adjusted to correct for title consisting of an n-gram occuring with high frequency in the English language corpus.
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 116 (4.15 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 191 (2.34 points)*Score adjusted to correct for title consisting of an n-gram occuring with high frequency in the English language corpus. | American Literature: 3 (0.52 points)*Score adjusted to correct for title consisting of an n-gram occuring with high frequency in the English language corpus. | American Literary History: 5 (1.09 points)*Score adjusted to correct for title consisting of an n-gram occuring with high frequency in the English language corpus.

N-gram Frequency Correction: -67.66%
5Mark as read.The Bulwark (1946)
Theodore Dreiser
7.11
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 5 (1.17 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 87 (2.64 points) | American Literature: 12 (2.06 points) | American Literary History: 2 (1.24 points)
6Mark as read.Blackberry Winter (1946)
Robert Penn Warren
4.68
Genre: Novella

Google Scholar: 9 (1.55 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 59 (2.30 points) | American Literature: 2 (0.83 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
7Mark as read.The Big Clock (1946)
Kenneth Fearing
3.85
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 10 (1.63 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 17 (1.43 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 1 (0.79 points)
8Mark as read.Nightmare Alley (1946)
William Lindsay Gresham
2.58
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 9 (1.55 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 8 (1.03 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
9Mark as read.I Married a Dead Man (1946)
Cornell Woolrich
2.26
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 5 (1.17 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 9 (1.09 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
10Mark as read.The Horizontal Man (1946)
Helen Eustis
1.52
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 3 (0.90 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 3 (0.63 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
11Mark as read.Dark Passage (1946)
David Goodis
1.44
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 2 (0.71 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 4 (0.73 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
12Mark as read.Quality (1946)
Cid Ricketts Sumner
0.77*Score adjusted to correct for title consisting of an n-gram occuring with high frequency in the English language corpus.
Genre: Mixed Genre

Google Scholar: 0 (0.00 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 10 (0.53 points)*Score adjusted to correct for title consisting of an n-gram occuring with high frequency in the English language corpus. | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points)*Score adjusted to correct for title consisting of an n-gram occuring with high frequency in the English language corpus. | American Literary History: 1 (0.24 points)*Score adjusted to correct for title consisting of an n-gram occuring with high frequency in the English language corpus.

N-gram Frequency Correction: -77.69%

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Include only:

Include only works published between and .

Althorithm Modifications

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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