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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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1800 - Present
New York Times Archive

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AMERICAN FICTION 1954

# Title Author Year Score
1Mark as read.The World in the EveningChristopher Isherwood19547.49
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 93 (3.85 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 66 (2.40 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 2 (1.24 points)
2Mark as read.Pictures from an InstitutionRandall Jarrell19547.46
Genre: Novel

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 61 (3.33 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 66 (2.40 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 2 (1.24 points)
3Mark as read.Savage HolidayRichard Wright19547.42
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 8 (1.47 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 85 (2.62 points) | American Literature: 6 (1.50 points) | American Literary History: 4 (1.83 points)
4Mark as read.Sweet ThursdayJohn Steinbeck19546.05
Genre: Novel

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 26 (2.43 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 83 (2.59 points) | American Literature: 1 (0.53 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
5Mark as read.The Ponder HeartEudora Welty19545.93
Genre: Novella

Google Scholar: 28 (2.50 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 84 (2.61 points) | American Literature: 2 (0.83 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
6Mark as read.I Am LegendRichard Matheson19545.12
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 82 (3.69 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 17 (1.43 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
7Mark as read.Blackboard JungleEvan Hunter19544.51
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 63 (3.37 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 10 (1.14 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
8Mark as read.The DollmakerHarriet Arnow19544.31
Genre: Novel

Pulitzer Prize Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 70 (3.49 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 1 (0.32 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
9Mark as read.Lord GrizzlyFrederick Manfred19544.07
Genre: Novel

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 2 (0.71 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 42 (2.04 points) | American Literature: 2 (0.83 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
10Mark as read.The Bad SeedWilliam March19543.97
Genre: Novel

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 20 (2.19 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 13 (1.28 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
11Mark as read.The Night of the HunterDavis Grubb19543.69
Genre: Novel

National Book Award 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)
12Mark as read.The View from Pompey's HeadHamilton Basso19542.92
Genre: Novel

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 6 (1.28 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 10 (1.14 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
13Mark as read.The BlundererPatricia Highsmith19542.73
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 4 (1.05 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 6 (0.90 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 1 (0.79 points)
14Mark as read.YoungbloodJohn O. Killens19542.47
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 7 (1.38 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 9 (1.09 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
15Mark as read.The Huge SeasonWright Morris19542.27
Genre: Mixed Genre

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 0 (0.00 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 29 (1.77 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
16Mark as read.The Last HuntMilton Lott19541.69
Genre: Novel

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 0 (0.00 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.The Courts of MemoryFrank Rooney19540.50
Genre: Mixed Genre

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 0 (0.00 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 0 (0.00 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
# Score
1Mark as read.The World in the Evening (1954)
Christopher Isherwood
7.49
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 93 (3.85 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 66 (2.40 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 2 (1.24 points)
2Mark as read.Pictures from an Institution (1954)
Randall Jarrell
7.46
Genre: Novel

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 61 (3.33 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 66 (2.40 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 2 (1.24 points)
3Mark as read.Savage Holiday (1954)
Richard Wright
7.42
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 8 (1.47 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 85 (2.62 points) | American Literature: 6 (1.50 points) | American Literary History: 4 (1.83 points)
4Mark as read.Sweet Thursday (1954)
John Steinbeck
6.05
Genre: Novel

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 26 (2.43 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 83 (2.59 points) | American Literature: 1 (0.53 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
5Mark as read.The Ponder Heart (1954)
Eudora Welty
5.93
Genre: Novella

Google Scholar: 28 (2.50 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 84 (2.61 points) | American Literature: 2 (0.83 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
6Mark as read.I Am Legend (1954)
Richard Matheson
5.12
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 82 (3.69 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 17 (1.43 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
7Mark as read.Blackboard Jungle (1954)
Evan Hunter
4.51
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 63 (3.37 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 10 (1.14 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
8Mark as read.The Dollmaker (1954)
Harriet Arnow
4.31
Genre: Novel

Pulitzer Prize Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 70 (3.49 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 1 (0.32 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
9Mark as read.Lord Grizzly (1954)
Frederick Manfred
4.07
Genre: Novel

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 2 (0.71 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 42 (2.04 points) | American Literature: 2 (0.83 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
10Mark as read.The Bad Seed (1954)
William March
3.97
Genre: Novel

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 20 (2.19 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 13 (1.28 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
11Mark as read.The Night of the Hunter (1954)
Davis Grubb
3.69
Genre: Novel

National Book Award 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)
12Mark as read.The View from Pompey's Head (1954)
Hamilton Basso
2.92
Genre: Novel

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 6 (1.28 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 10 (1.14 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
13Mark as read.The Blunderer (1954)
Patricia Highsmith
2.73
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 4 (1.05 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 6 (0.90 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 1 (0.79 points)
14Mark as read.Youngblood (1954)
John O. Killens
2.47
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 7 (1.38 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 9 (1.09 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
15Mark as read.The Huge Season (1954)
Wright Morris
2.27
Genre: Mixed Genre

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 0 (0.00 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 29 (1.77 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
16Mark as read.The Last Hunt (1954)
Milton Lott
1.69
Genre: Novel

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 0 (0.00 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.The Courts of Memory (1954)
Frank Rooney
0.50
Genre: Mixed Genre

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 0 (0.00 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 0 (0.00 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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