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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 1959

# Title Author Year Score
1Mark as read.Goodbye, ColumbusPhilip Roth195912.10
Genre: Collection of Short Stories

National Book Award Winner (1.00 point) | Google Scholar: 190 (4.88 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 295 (3.93 points) | American Literature: 3 (1.04 points) | American Literary History: 2 (1.24 points)
2Mark as read.Henderson the Rain KingSaul Bellow195912.07
Genre: Novel

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 163 (4.65 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 281 (3.87 points) | American Literature: 15 (2.27 points) | American Literary History: 1 (0.79 points)
3Mark as read.The MansionWilliam Faulkner195911.93
Genre: Novel

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 56 (3.23 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 308 (3.98 points) | American Literature: 22 (2.65 points) | American Literary History: 3 (1.57 points)
4Mark as read.Brown Girl, BrownstonesPaule Marshall195910.80
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 261 (5.40 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 128 (3.00 points) | American Literature: 2 (0.83 points) | American Literary History: 3 (1.57 points)
5Mark as read.Naked LunchWilliam S. Burroughs195910.51
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 398 (6.16 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 145 (3.13 points) | American Literature: 4 (1.22 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
6Mark as read.The Sirens of TitanKurt Vonnegut19598.03
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 130 (4.31 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 66 (2.40 points) | American Literature: 1 (0.53 points) | American Literary History: 1 (0.79 points)
7Mark as read.MalcolmJames Purdy19597.33
Genre: Novel

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 4 (1.05 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 152 (3.18 points) | American Literature: 9 (1.81 points) | American Literary History: 1 (0.79 points)
8Mark as read.HawaiiJames Michener19597.24
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 68 (3.46 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 164 (3.26 points) | American Literature: 1 (0.53 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
9Mark as read.The CaveRobert Penn Warren19597.23
Genre: Novel

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 5 (1.17 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 165 (3.27 points) | American Literature: 6 (1.50 points) | American Literary History: 1 (0.79 points)
10Mark as read.Advise and ConsentAllen Drury19596.91
Genre: Novel

Pulitzer Prize Winner (1.00 point) | Google Scholar: 78 (3.63 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 7 (0.97 points) | American Literature: 1 (0.53 points) | American Literary History: 1 (0.79 points)
11Mark as read.The Poorhouse FairJohn Updike19596.34
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 36 (2.75 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 64 (2.37 points) | American Literature: 4 (1.22 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
12Mark as read.Flowers for AlgernonDaniel Keyes19596.30
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 140 (4.42 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 34 (1.88 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
13Mark as read.The Haunting of Hill HouseShirley Jackson19596.03
Genre: Novel

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 93 (3.85 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 25 (1.67 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
14Mark as read.Starship TroopersRobert Heinlein19595.86
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 124 (4.25 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 23 (1.62 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
15Mark as read.The Manchurian CandidateRichard Condon19595.41
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 114 (4.13 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 13 (1.28 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
16Mark as read.Doctor SaxJack Kerouac19595.11
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 35 (2.72 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 33 (1.86 points) | American Literature: 1 (0.53 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
17Mark as read.PsychoRobert Bloch19594.60
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 40 (2.86 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 28 (1.75 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
18Mark as read.The Cool WorldWarren Miller19594.21
Genre: Novel

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 24 (2.35 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 15 (1.36 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
19Mark as read.The War LoverJohn Hersey19593.35
Genre: Novel

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 11 (1.70 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 3 (0.63 points) | American Literature: 1 (0.53 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
20Mark as read.The Real Cool KillersChester Himes19593.32
Genre: Mixed Genre

Google Scholar: 11 (1.70 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 23 (1.62 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
21Mark as read.Mr. BridgeEvan S. Connell19593.16
Genre: Novel

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 3 (0.90 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 12 (1.24 points) | American Literature: 1 (0.53 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
22Mark as read.Maggie CassidyJack Kerouac19592.95
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 3 (0.90 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 20 (1.53 points) | American Literature: 1 (0.53 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
23Mark as read.The PistolJames Jones19592.91
Genre: Novella

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 4 (1.05 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 15 (1.36 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
24Mark as read.The Return of H*Y*M*A*N K*A*P*L*A*NLeo Rosten19592.76
Genre: Mixed Genre

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 12 (1.77 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 2 (0.50 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
25Mark as read.The Magic ChristianTerry Southern19592.73
Genre: Mixed Genre

Google Scholar: 5 (1.17 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 21 (1.56 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
26Mark as read.Wake Up, StupidMark Harris19592.64
Genre: Novel

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 5 (1.17 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 7 (0.97 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
27Mark as read.The HustlerWalter Tevis19592.13
Genre: Mixed Genre

Google Scholar: 4 (1.05 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 9 (1.09 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
28Mark as read.One HourLillian Smith19591.84
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 0 (0.00 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 32 (1.84 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
29Mark as read.Pursuit of the ProdigalLouis Auchincloss19591.76
Genre: Novel

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 0 (0.00 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 4 (0.73 points) | American Literature: 1 (0.53 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
30Mark as read.The Light Infantry BallHamilton Basso19591.52
Genre: Novel

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 2 (0.71 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 1 (0.32 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
31Mark as read.The Third ChoiceElizabeth Janeway19591.52
Genre: Mixed Genre

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 2 (0.71 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 1 (0.32 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
32Mark as read.Men DieH. L. Humes19591.13
Genre: Mixed Genre

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 0 (0.00 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 3 (0.63 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
# Score
1Mark as read.Goodbye, Columbus (1959)
Philip Roth
12.10
Genre: Collection of Short Stories

National Book Award Winner (1.00 point) | Google Scholar: 190 (4.88 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 295 (3.93 points) | American Literature: 3 (1.04 points) | American Literary History: 2 (1.24 points)
2Mark as read.Henderson the Rain King (1959)
Saul Bellow
12.07
Genre: Novel

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 163 (4.65 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 281 (3.87 points) | American Literature: 15 (2.27 points) | American Literary History: 1 (0.79 points)
3Mark as read.The Mansion (1959)
William Faulkner
11.93
Genre: Novel

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 56 (3.23 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 308 (3.98 points) | American Literature: 22 (2.65 points) | American Literary History: 3 (1.57 points)
4Mark as read.Brown Girl, Brownstones (1959)
Paule Marshall
10.80
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 261 (5.40 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 128 (3.00 points) | American Literature: 2 (0.83 points) | American Literary History: 3 (1.57 points)
5Mark as read.Naked Lunch (1959)
William S. Burroughs
10.51
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 398 (6.16 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 145 (3.13 points) | American Literature: 4 (1.22 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
6Mark as read.The Sirens of Titan (1959)
Kurt Vonnegut
8.03
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 130 (4.31 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 66 (2.40 points) | American Literature: 1 (0.53 points) | American Literary History: 1 (0.79 points)
7Mark as read.Malcolm (1959)
James Purdy
7.33
Genre: Novel

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 4 (1.05 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 152 (3.18 points) | American Literature: 9 (1.81 points) | American Literary History: 1 (0.79 points)
8Mark as read.Hawaii (1959)
James Michener
7.24
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 68 (3.46 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 164 (3.26 points) | American Literature: 1 (0.53 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
9Mark as read.The Cave (1959)
Robert Penn Warren
7.23
Genre: Novel

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 5 (1.17 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 165 (3.27 points) | American Literature: 6 (1.50 points) | American Literary History: 1 (0.79 points)
10Mark as read.Advise and Consent (1959)
Allen Drury
6.91
Genre: Novel

Pulitzer Prize Winner (1.00 point) | Google Scholar: 78 (3.63 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 7 (0.97 points) | American Literature: 1 (0.53 points) | American Literary History: 1 (0.79 points)
11Mark as read.The Poorhouse Fair (1959)
John Updike
6.34
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 36 (2.75 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 64 (2.37 points) | American Literature: 4 (1.22 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
12Mark as read.Flowers for Algernon (1959)
Daniel Keyes
6.30
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 140 (4.42 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 34 (1.88 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
13Mark as read.The Haunting of Hill House (1959)
Shirley Jackson
6.03
Genre: Novel

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 93 (3.85 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 25 (1.67 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
14Mark as read.Starship Troopers (1959)
Robert Heinlein
5.86
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 124 (4.25 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 23 (1.62 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
15Mark as read.The Manchurian Candidate (1959)
Richard Condon
5.41
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 114 (4.13 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 13 (1.28 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
16Mark as read.Doctor Sax (1959)
Jack Kerouac
5.11
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 35 (2.72 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 33 (1.86 points) | American Literature: 1 (0.53 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
17Mark as read.Psycho (1959)
Robert Bloch
4.60
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 40 (2.86 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 28 (1.75 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
18Mark as read.The Cool World (1959)
Warren Miller
4.21
Genre: Novel

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 24 (2.35 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 15 (1.36 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
19Mark as read.The War Lover (1959)
John Hersey
3.35
Genre: Novel

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 11 (1.70 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 3 (0.63 points) | American Literature: 1 (0.53 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
20Mark as read.The Real Cool Killers (1959)
Chester Himes
3.32
Genre: Mixed Genre

Google Scholar: 11 (1.70 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 23 (1.62 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
21Mark as read.Mr. Bridge (1959)
Evan S. Connell
3.16
Genre: Novel

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 3 (0.90 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 12 (1.24 points) | American Literature: 1 (0.53 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
22Mark as read.Maggie Cassidy (1959)
Jack Kerouac
2.95
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 3 (0.90 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 20 (1.53 points) | American Literature: 1 (0.53 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
23Mark as read.The Pistol (1959)
James Jones
2.91
Genre: Novella

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 4 (1.05 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 15 (1.36 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
24Mark as read.The Return of H*Y*M*A*N K*A*P*L*A*N (1959)
Leo Rosten
2.76
Genre: Mixed Genre

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 12 (1.77 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 2 (0.50 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
25Mark as read.The Magic Christian (1959)
Terry Southern
2.73
Genre: Mixed Genre

Google Scholar: 5 (1.17 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 21 (1.56 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
26Mark as read.Wake Up, Stupid (1959)
Mark Harris
2.64
Genre: Novel

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 5 (1.17 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 7 (0.97 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
27Mark as read.The Hustler (1959)
Walter Tevis
2.13
Genre: Mixed Genre

Google Scholar: 4 (1.05 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 9 (1.09 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
28Mark as read.One Hour (1959)
Lillian Smith
1.84
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 0 (0.00 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 32 (1.84 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
29Mark as read.Pursuit of the Prodigal (1959)
Louis Auchincloss
1.76
Genre: Novel

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 0 (0.00 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 4 (0.73 points) | American Literature: 1 (0.53 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
30Mark as read.The Light Infantry Ball (1959)
Hamilton Basso
1.52
Genre: Novel

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 2 (0.71 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 1 (0.32 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
31Mark as read.The Third Choice (1959)
Elizabeth Janeway
1.52
Genre: Mixed Genre

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 2 (0.71 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 1 (0.32 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
32Mark as read.Men Die (1959)
H. L. Humes
1.13
Genre: Mixed Genre

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 0 (0.00 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 3 (0.63 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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