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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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Include only works published between and .

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Change the weight of these data points in order to change the shape of your canon.









AMERICAN FICTION 1961

# Title Author Year Score
1Mark as read.Catch-22Joseph Heller196114.17
Genre: Novel

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 710 (7.34 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 221 (3.59 points) | American Literature: 6 (1.50 points) | American Literary History: 2 (1.24 points)
2Mark as read.The MoviegoerWalker Percy196112.56
Genre: Novel

National Book Award Winner (1.00 point) | Google Scholar: 169 (4.70 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 219 (3.58 points) | American Literature: 8 (1.72 points) | American Literary History: 3 (1.57 points)
3Mark as read.Franny and ZooeyJ. D. Salinger19619.71
Genre: Novel, Collection of Short Stories

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 176 (4.76 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 58 (2.29 points) | American Literature: 5 (1.37 points) | American Literary History: 1 (0.79 points)
4Mark as read.A New LifeBernard Malamud19618.77
Genre: Novel

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 43 (2.93 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 135 (3.06 points) | American Literature: 3 (1.04 points) | American Literary History: 2 (1.24 points)
5Mark as read.Revolutionary RoadRichard Yates19618.68
Genre: Novel

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 91 (3.83 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 56 (2.26 points) | American Literature: 1 (0.53 points) | American Literary History: 3 (1.57 points)
6Mark as read.The Winter of Our DiscontentJohn Steinbeck19618.33
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 84 (3.72 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 127 (3.00 points) | American Literature: 7 (1.61 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
7Mark as read.Tell Me a RiddleTillie Olsen19618.24
Genre: Collection of Short Stories

Google Scholar: 130 (4.31 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 113 (2.88 points) | American Literature: 3 (1.04 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
8Mark as read.Eat a Bowl of TeaLouis Chu19617.89
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 100 (3.95 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 46 (2.11 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 4 (1.83 points)
9Mark as read.Mother NightKurt Vonnegut19617.79
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 201 (4.97 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 58 (2.29 points) | American Literature: 1 (0.53 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
10Mark as read.Stranger in a Strange LandRobert Heinlein19617.72
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 339 (5.86 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 33 (1.86 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
11Mark as read.Eight MenRichard Wright19617.21
Genre: Collection of Short Stories

Google Scholar: 29 (2.53 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 136 (3.06 points) | American Literature: 7 (1.61 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
12Mark as read.The Soft MachineWilliam S. Burroughs19616.44
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 96 (3.90 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 41 (2.02 points) | American Literature: 1 (0.53 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
13Mark as read.DawnElie Wiesel19616.44
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 23 (2.31 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 344 (4.12 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
14Mark as read.The PawnbrokerEdward Lewis Wallant19615.68
Genre: Novel

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 46 (3.01 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 24 (1.65 points) | American Literature: 1 (0.53 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
15Mark as read.The Snows of Kilimanjaro and Other StoriesErnest Hemingway19615.51
Genre: Collection of Short Stories

Google Scholar: 113 (4.12 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 16 (1.40 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
16Mark as read.Where the Red Fern GrowsWilson Rawls19615.26
Genre: Novel, Other

Google Scholar: 113 (4.12 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 10 (1.14 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
17Mark as read.Horseman, Pass ByLarry McMurtry19615.01
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 35 (2.72 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 58 (2.29 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
18Mark as read.The Agony and the EcstasyIrving Stone19614.76
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 72 (3.53 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 12 (1.24 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
19Mark as read.The Spinoza of Market StreetIsaac Bashevis Singer19614.75
Genre: Collection of Short Stories

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 25 (2.39 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 33 (1.86 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
20Mark as read.Mila 18Leon Uris19613.99
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 22 (2.27 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 27 (1.72 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
21Mark as read.The Edge of SadnessEdwin O'Connor19613.79
Genre: Novel

Pulitzer Prize Winner (1.00 point) | Google Scholar: 9 (1.55 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 12 (1.24 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
22Mark as read.April MorningHoward Fast19613.53
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 16 (2.00 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 20 (1.53 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
23Mark as read.Among the DangsGeorge P. Elliott19612.74
Genre: Collection of Short Stories

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 2 (0.71 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 20 (1.53 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
24Mark as read.Wilderness: A Tale of the Civil WarRobert Penn Warren19612.52
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 11 (1.70 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 5 (0.82 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
25Mark as read.The ChateauWilliam Maxwell19612.42
Genre: Novel

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 1 (0.45 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 18 (1.47 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
26Mark as read.The Morning and the EveningJoan Williams19612.36
Genre: Mixed Genre

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 3 (0.90 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.False EntryHortense Calisher19611.69
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)
28Mark as read.HombreElmore Leonard19610.95
Genre: Mixed Genre

Google Scholar: 1 (0.45 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 2 (0.50 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
29Mark as read.Successful Love and Other StoriesDelmore Schwartz19610.82
Genre: Collection of Short Stories

Google Scholar: 0 (0.00 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 5 (0.82 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
# Score
1Mark as read.Catch-22 (1961)
Joseph Heller
14.17
Genre: Novel

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 710 (7.34 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 221 (3.59 points) | American Literature: 6 (1.50 points) | American Literary History: 2 (1.24 points)
2Mark as read.The Moviegoer (1961)
Walker Percy
12.56
Genre: Novel

National Book Award Winner (1.00 point) | Google Scholar: 169 (4.70 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 219 (3.58 points) | American Literature: 8 (1.72 points) | American Literary History: 3 (1.57 points)
3Mark as read.Franny and Zooey (1961)
J. D. Salinger
9.71
Genre: Novel, Collection of Short Stories

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 176 (4.76 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 58 (2.29 points) | American Literature: 5 (1.37 points) | American Literary History: 1 (0.79 points)
4Mark as read.A New Life (1961)
Bernard Malamud
8.77
Genre: Novel

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 43 (2.93 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 135 (3.06 points) | American Literature: 3 (1.04 points) | American Literary History: 2 (1.24 points)
5Mark as read.Revolutionary Road (1961)
Richard Yates
8.68
Genre: Novel

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 91 (3.83 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 56 (2.26 points) | American Literature: 1 (0.53 points) | American Literary History: 3 (1.57 points)
6Mark as read.The Winter of Our Discontent (1961)
John Steinbeck
8.33
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 84 (3.72 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 127 (3.00 points) | American Literature: 7 (1.61 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
7Mark as read.Tell Me a Riddle (1961)
Tillie Olsen
8.24
Genre: Collection of Short Stories

Google Scholar: 130 (4.31 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 113 (2.88 points) | American Literature: 3 (1.04 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
8Mark as read.Eat a Bowl of Tea (1961)
Louis Chu
7.89
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 100 (3.95 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 46 (2.11 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 4 (1.83 points)
9Mark as read.Mother Night (1961)
Kurt Vonnegut
7.79
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 201 (4.97 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 58 (2.29 points) | American Literature: 1 (0.53 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
10Mark as read.Stranger in a Strange Land (1961)
Robert Heinlein
7.72
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 339 (5.86 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 33 (1.86 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
11Mark as read.Eight Men (1961)
Richard Wright
7.21
Genre: Collection of Short Stories

Google Scholar: 29 (2.53 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 136 (3.06 points) | American Literature: 7 (1.61 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
12Mark as read.The Soft Machine (1961)
William S. Burroughs
6.44
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 96 (3.90 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 41 (2.02 points) | American Literature: 1 (0.53 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
13Mark as read.Dawn (1961)
Elie Wiesel
6.44
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 23 (2.31 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 344 (4.12 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
14Mark as read.The Pawnbroker (1961)
Edward Lewis Wallant
5.68
Genre: Novel

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 46 (3.01 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 24 (1.65 points) | American Literature: 1 (0.53 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
15Mark as read.The Snows of Kilimanjaro and Other Stories (1961)
Ernest Hemingway
5.51
Genre: Collection of Short Stories

Google Scholar: 113 (4.12 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 16 (1.40 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
16Mark as read.Where the Red Fern Grows (1961)
Wilson Rawls
5.26
Genre: Novel, Other

Google Scholar: 113 (4.12 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 10 (1.14 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
17Mark as read.Horseman, Pass By (1961)
Larry McMurtry
5.01
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 35 (2.72 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 58 (2.29 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
18Mark as read.The Agony and the Ecstasy (1961)
Irving Stone
4.76
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 72 (3.53 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 12 (1.24 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
19Mark as read.The Spinoza of Market Street (1961)
Isaac Bashevis Singer
4.75
Genre: Collection of Short Stories

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 25 (2.39 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 33 (1.86 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
20Mark as read.Mila 18 (1961)
Leon Uris
3.99
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 22 (2.27 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 27 (1.72 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
21Mark as read.The Edge of Sadness (1961)
Edwin O'Connor
3.79
Genre: Novel

Pulitzer Prize Winner (1.00 point) | Google Scholar: 9 (1.55 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 12 (1.24 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
22Mark as read.April Morning (1961)
Howard Fast
3.53
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 16 (2.00 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 20 (1.53 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
23Mark as read.Among the Dangs (1961)
George P. Elliott
2.74
Genre: Collection of Short Stories

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 2 (0.71 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 20 (1.53 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
24Mark as read.Wilderness: A Tale of the Civil War (1961)
Robert Penn Warren
2.52
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 11 (1.70 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 5 (0.82 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
25Mark as read.The Chateau (1961)
William Maxwell
2.42
Genre: Novel

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 1 (0.45 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 18 (1.47 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
26Mark as read.The Morning and the Evening (1961)
Joan Williams
2.36
Genre: Mixed Genre

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 3 (0.90 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.False Entry (1961)
Hortense Calisher
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)
28Mark as read.Hombre (1961)
Elmore Leonard
0.95
Genre: Mixed Genre

Google Scholar: 1 (0.45 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 2 (0.50 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
29Mark as read.Successful Love and Other Stories (1961)
Delmore Schwartz
0.82
Genre: Collection of Short Stories

Google Scholar: 0 (0.00 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 5 (0.82 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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