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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 1957

# Title Author Year Score
1Mark as read.On the RoadJack Kerouac195716.70
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 772 (7.53 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 527 (4.70 points) | American Literature: 10 (1.90 points) | American Literary History: 8 (2.58 points)
2Mark as read.Atlas ShruggedAyn Rand195711.70
Genre: Novel

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 752 (7.47 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 249 (3.73 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
3Mark as read.The TownWilliam Faulkner195711.11*Score adjusted to correct for title consisting of an n-gram occuring with high frequency in the English language corpus.
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 14 (1.89 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 938 (4.46 points)*Score adjusted to correct for title consisting of an n-gram occuring with high frequency in the English language corpus. | American Literature: 47 (2.66 points)*Score adjusted to correct for title consisting of an n-gram occuring with high frequency in the English language corpus. | American Literary History: 11 (2.10 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: -52.59%
4Mark as read.A Death in the FamilyJames Agee195710.75
Genre: Novel

Pulitzer Prize Winner (1.00 point) | National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 191 (4.89 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 111 (2.86 points) | American Literature: 6 (1.50 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
5Mark as read.PninVladimir Nabokov195710.53
Genre: Novel

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 119 (4.19 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 260 (3.78 points) | American Literature: 2 (0.83 points) | American Literary History: 2 (1.24 points)
6Mark as read.No-No BoyJohn Okada195710.16
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 154 (4.56 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 53 (2.22 points) | American Literature: 1 (0.53 points) | American Literary History: 10 (2.85 points)
7Mark as read.The AssistantBernard Malamud19579.25
Genre: Novel

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 80 (3.66 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 174 (3.32 points) | American Literature: 1 (0.53 points) | American Literary History: 2 (1.24 points)
8Mark as read.By Love PossessedJames Gould Cozzens19577.12
Genre: Novel

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 36 (2.75 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 56 (2.26 points) | American Literature: 7 (1.61 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
9Mark as read.The Wapshot ChronicleJohn Cheever19576.47
Genre: Novel

National Book Award Winner (1.00 point) | Google Scholar: 22 (2.27 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 34 (1.88 points) | American Literature: 1 (0.53 points) | American Literary History: 1 (0.79 points)
10Mark as read.Dandelion WineRay Bradbury19575.73
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 60 (3.31 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 68 (2.42 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
11Mark as read.The MisfitsArthur Miller19575.34
Genre: Novella, Other

Google Scholar: 0 (0.00 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 153 (3.19 points) | American Literature: 5 (1.37 points) | American Literary History: 1 (0.79 points)
12Mark as read.The Long MarchWilliam Styron19575.25
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 15 (1.94 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 73 (2.48 points) | American Literature: 2 (0.83 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
13Mark as read.The Velvet HornAndrew Lytle19574.42
Genre: Novel

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 1 (0.45 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 55 (2.25 points) | American Literature: 4 (1.22 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
14Mark as read.Love Among the CannibalsWright Morris19574.33
Genre: Novel

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 7 (1.38 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 23 (1.62 points) | American Literature: 2 (0.83 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
15Mark as read.Simple Stakes a ClaimLangston Hughes19573.89
Genre: Collection of Short Stories

Google Scholar: 15 (1.94 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 37 (1.94 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
16Mark as read.The Short Reign of Pippin IVJohn Steinbeck19573.55
Genre: Mixed Genre

Google Scholar: 17 (2.05 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 19 (1.50 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
17Mark as read.Some Came RunningJames Jones19573.23
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 7 (1.38 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 14 (1.32 points) | American Literature: 1 (0.53 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
18Mark as read.The Door into SummerRobert Heinlein19573.21
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 23 (2.31 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 6 (0.90 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
19Mark as read.Something About a SoldierMark Harris19572.43
Genre: Novel

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 3 (0.90 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 8 (1.03 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
20Mark as read.The Birth of a GrandfatherMay Sarton19572.10
Genre: Mixed Genre

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 6 (1.28 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 1 (0.32 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
21Mark as read.Citzen of the GalaxyRobert Heinlein19571.83
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 13 (1.83 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 0 (0.00 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
22Mark as read.Big Sur and the Oranges of Hieronymus BoschHenry Miller19571.67
Genre: Mixed Genre

Google Scholar: 0 (0.00 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 10 (1.14 points) | American Literature: 1 (0.53 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
23Mark as read.Letter from PekingPearl S. Buck19571.20
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)
24Mark as read.Falcons of NarabedlaMarion Zimmer Bradley19570.77
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 1 (0.45 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 1 (0.32 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
25Mark as read.The Return of Lady BraceNancy Wilson Ross19570.50
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.On the Road (1957)
Jack Kerouac
16.70
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 772 (7.53 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 527 (4.70 points) | American Literature: 10 (1.90 points) | American Literary History: 8 (2.58 points)
2Mark as read.Atlas Shrugged (1957)
Ayn Rand
11.70
Genre: Novel

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 752 (7.47 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 249 (3.73 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
3Mark as read.The Town (1957)
William Faulkner
11.11*Score adjusted to correct for title consisting of an n-gram occuring with high frequency in the English language corpus.
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 14 (1.89 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 938 (4.46 points)*Score adjusted to correct for title consisting of an n-gram occuring with high frequency in the English language corpus. | American Literature: 47 (2.66 points)*Score adjusted to correct for title consisting of an n-gram occuring with high frequency in the English language corpus. | American Literary History: 11 (2.10 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: -52.59%
4Mark as read.A Death in the Family (1957)
James Agee
10.75
Genre: Novel

Pulitzer Prize Winner (1.00 point) | National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 191 (4.89 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 111 (2.86 points) | American Literature: 6 (1.50 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
5Mark as read.Pnin (1957)
Vladimir Nabokov
10.53
Genre: Novel

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 119 (4.19 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 260 (3.78 points) | American Literature: 2 (0.83 points) | American Literary History: 2 (1.24 points)
6Mark as read.No-No Boy (1957)
John Okada
10.16
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 154 (4.56 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 53 (2.22 points) | American Literature: 1 (0.53 points) | American Literary History: 10 (2.85 points)
7Mark as read.The Assistant (1957)
Bernard Malamud
9.25
Genre: Novel

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 80 (3.66 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 174 (3.32 points) | American Literature: 1 (0.53 points) | American Literary History: 2 (1.24 points)
8Mark as read.By Love Possessed (1957)
James Gould Cozzens
7.12
Genre: Novel

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 36 (2.75 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 56 (2.26 points) | American Literature: 7 (1.61 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
9Mark as read.The Wapshot Chronicle (1957)
John Cheever
6.47
Genre: Novel

National Book Award Winner (1.00 point) | Google Scholar: 22 (2.27 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 34 (1.88 points) | American Literature: 1 (0.53 points) | American Literary History: 1 (0.79 points)
10Mark as read.Dandelion Wine (1957)
Ray Bradbury
5.73
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 60 (3.31 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 68 (2.42 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
11Mark as read.The Misfits (1957)
Arthur Miller
5.34
Genre: Novella, Other

Google Scholar: 0 (0.00 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 153 (3.19 points) | American Literature: 5 (1.37 points) | American Literary History: 1 (0.79 points)
12Mark as read.The Long March (1957)
William Styron
5.25
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 15 (1.94 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 73 (2.48 points) | American Literature: 2 (0.83 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
13Mark as read.The Velvet Horn (1957)
Andrew Lytle
4.42
Genre: Novel

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 1 (0.45 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 55 (2.25 points) | American Literature: 4 (1.22 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
14Mark as read.Love Among the Cannibals (1957)
Wright Morris
4.33
Genre: Novel

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 7 (1.38 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 23 (1.62 points) | American Literature: 2 (0.83 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
15Mark as read.Simple Stakes a Claim (1957)
Langston Hughes
3.89
Genre: Collection of Short Stories

Google Scholar: 15 (1.94 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 37 (1.94 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
16Mark as read.The Short Reign of Pippin IV (1957)
John Steinbeck
3.55
Genre: Mixed Genre

Google Scholar: 17 (2.05 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 19 (1.50 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
17Mark as read.Some Came Running (1957)
James Jones
3.23
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 7 (1.38 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 14 (1.32 points) | American Literature: 1 (0.53 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
18Mark as read.The Door into Summer (1957)
Robert Heinlein
3.21
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 23 (2.31 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 6 (0.90 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
19Mark as read.Something About a Soldier (1957)
Mark Harris
2.43
Genre: Novel

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 3 (0.90 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 8 (1.03 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
20Mark as read.The Birth of a Grandfather (1957)
May Sarton
2.10
Genre: Mixed Genre

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 6 (1.28 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 1 (0.32 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
21Mark as read.Citzen of the Galaxy (1957)
Robert Heinlein
1.83
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 13 (1.83 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 0 (0.00 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
22Mark as read.Big Sur and the Oranges of Hieronymus Bosch (1957)
Henry Miller
1.67
Genre: Mixed Genre

Google Scholar: 0 (0.00 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 10 (1.14 points) | American Literature: 1 (0.53 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
23Mark as read.Letter from Peking (1957)
Pearl S. Buck
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)
24Mark as read.Falcons of Narabedla (1957)
Marion Zimmer Bradley
0.77
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 1 (0.45 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 1 (0.32 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
25Mark as read.The Return of Lady Brace (1957)
Nancy Wilson Ross
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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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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