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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 1962

# Title Author Year Score
1Mark as read.Pale FireVladimir Nabokov196213.19
Genre: Novel

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 285 (5.55 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 466 (4.53 points) | American Literature: 5 (1.37 points) | American Literary History: 2 (1.24 points)
2Mark as read.Another CountryJames Baldwin196212.26
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 161 (4.63 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 288 (3.90 points) | American Literature: 10 (1.90 points) | American Literary History: 4 (1.83 points)
3Mark as read.One Flew Over the Cuckoo's NestKen Kesey196211.60
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 862 (7.78 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 127 (3.00 points) | American Literature: 2 (0.83 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
4Mark as read.The ReiversWilliam Faulkner196210.55
Genre: Novel

Pulitzer Prize Winner (1.00 point) | Google Scholar: 75 (3.58 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 191 (3.42 points) | American Literature: 20 (2.55 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
5Mark as read.Ship of FoolsKatherine Anne Porter19629.29
Genre: Novel

Pulitzer Prize Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 45 (2.98 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 191 (3.42 points) | American Literature: 17 (2.39 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
6Mark as read.The Man in the High CastlePhilip K. Dick19629.26
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 192 (4.90 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 144 (3.12 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 2 (1.24 points)
7Mark as read.A Wrinkle in TimeMadeleine L'Engle19627.98
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 320 (5.76 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 53 (2.22 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
8Mark as read.The Ticket that ExplodedWilliam S. Burroughs19626.92
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 132 (4.34 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 43 (2.05 points) | American Literature: 1 (0.53 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
9Mark as read.Letting GoPhilip Roth19626.42
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 24 (2.35 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 167 (3.28 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 1 (0.79 points)
10Mark as read.The SlaveIsaac Bashevis Singer19626.32
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 10 (1.63 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 110 (2.86 points) | American Literature: 3 (1.04 points) | American Literary History: 1 (0.79 points)
11Mark as read.Pigeon FeathersJohn Updike19626.07
Genre: Collection of Short Stories

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 40 (2.86 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 51 (2.19 points) | American Literature: 1 (0.53 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
12Mark as read.Down There on a VisitChristopher Isherwood19625.96
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 43 (2.93 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 54 (2.23 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 1 (0.79 points)
13Mark as read.The Thin Red LineJames Jones19625.84
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 77 (3.61 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 26 (1.70 points) | American Literature: 1 (0.53 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
14Mark as read.Big SurJack Kerouac19625.23
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 12 (1.77 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 68 (2.42 points) | American Literature: 3 (1.04 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
15Mark as read.A Different DrummerWilliam Melvin Kelley19625.17
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 38 (2.80 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 32 (1.84 points) | American Literature: 1 (0.53 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
16Mark as read.DayElie Wiesel19624.86*Score adjusted to correct for title consisting of an n-gram occuring with high frequency in the English language corpus.
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 19 (2.14 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 2227 (2.50 points)*Score adjusted to correct for title consisting of an n-gram occuring with high frequency in the English language corpus. | American Literature: 1 (0.03 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 (0.19 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: -96.65%
17Mark as read.Something Wicked this Way ComesRay Bradbury19624.47
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 37 (2.78 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 26 (1.70 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
18Mark as read.Morte d'UrbanJ. F. Powers19624.37
Genre: Mixed Genre

National Book Award Winner (1.00 point) | Google Scholar: 1 (0.45 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 45 (2.09 points) | American Literature: 2 (0.83 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
19Mark as read.Going AwayClancy Sigal19624.32
Genre: Novel

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 10 (1.63 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 16 (1.40 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 1 (0.79 points)
20Mark as read.Seven Days in MayFletcher Knebel19623.42
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 31 (2.60 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 5 (0.82 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
21Mark as read.The Sand PebblesRichard McKenna19623.38
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 21 (2.23 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 3 (0.63 points) | American Literature: 1 (0.53 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
22Mark as read.SternBruce Jay Friedman19623.36
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 6 (1.28 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 44 (2.07 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
23Mark as read.Fire on the MountainEdward Abbey19623.36
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 16 (2.00 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.Eleven Kinds of LonelinessRichard Yates19623.34
Genre: Collection of Short Stories

Google Scholar: 6 (1.28 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 20 (1.53 points) | American Literature: 1 (0.53 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
25Mark as read.The Jewels of AptorSamuel R. Delany19622.67
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 0 (0.00 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 17 (1.43 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 2 (1.24 points)
26Mark as read.A Shade of DifferenceAllen Drury19621.99
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 5 (1.17 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 5 (0.82 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
27Mark as read.The Golden SpurDawn Powell19621.92
Genre: Mixed Genre

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 1 (0.45 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 7 (0.97 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
28Mark as read.Conditionally HumanWalter M. Miller, Jr.19621.91
Genre: Collection of Short Stories

Google Scholar: 5 (1.17 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 4 (0.73 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
29Mark as read.Morning in AntibesJohn Knowles19621.27
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 1 (0.45 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.Pale Fire (1962)
Vladimir Nabokov
13.19
Genre: Novel

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 285 (5.55 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 466 (4.53 points) | American Literature: 5 (1.37 points) | American Literary History: 2 (1.24 points)
2Mark as read.Another Country (1962)
James Baldwin
12.26
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 161 (4.63 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 288 (3.90 points) | American Literature: 10 (1.90 points) | American Literary History: 4 (1.83 points)
3Mark as read.One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1962)
Ken Kesey
11.60
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 862 (7.78 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 127 (3.00 points) | American Literature: 2 (0.83 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
4Mark as read.The Reivers (1962)
William Faulkner
10.55
Genre: Novel

Pulitzer Prize Winner (1.00 point) | Google Scholar: 75 (3.58 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 191 (3.42 points) | American Literature: 20 (2.55 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
5Mark as read.Ship of Fools (1962)
Katherine Anne Porter
9.29
Genre: Novel

Pulitzer Prize Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 45 (2.98 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 191 (3.42 points) | American Literature: 17 (2.39 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
6Mark as read.The Man in the High Castle (1962)
Philip K. Dick
9.26
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 192 (4.90 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 144 (3.12 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 2 (1.24 points)
7Mark as read.A Wrinkle in Time (1962)
Madeleine L'Engle
7.98
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 320 (5.76 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 53 (2.22 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
8Mark as read.The Ticket that Exploded (1962)
William S. Burroughs
6.92
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 132 (4.34 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 43 (2.05 points) | American Literature: 1 (0.53 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
9Mark as read.Letting Go (1962)
Philip Roth
6.42
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 24 (2.35 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 167 (3.28 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 1 (0.79 points)
10Mark as read.The Slave (1962)
Isaac Bashevis Singer
6.32
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 10 (1.63 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 110 (2.86 points) | American Literature: 3 (1.04 points) | American Literary History: 1 (0.79 points)
11Mark as read.Pigeon Feathers (1962)
John Updike
6.07
Genre: Collection of Short Stories

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 40 (2.86 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 51 (2.19 points) | American Literature: 1 (0.53 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
12Mark as read.Down There on a Visit (1962)
Christopher Isherwood
5.96
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 43 (2.93 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 54 (2.23 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 1 (0.79 points)
13Mark as read.The Thin Red Line (1962)
James Jones
5.84
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 77 (3.61 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 26 (1.70 points) | American Literature: 1 (0.53 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
14Mark as read.Big Sur (1962)
Jack Kerouac
5.23
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 12 (1.77 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 68 (2.42 points) | American Literature: 3 (1.04 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
15Mark as read.A Different Drummer (1962)
William Melvin Kelley
5.17
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 38 (2.80 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 32 (1.84 points) | American Literature: 1 (0.53 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
16Mark as read.Day (1962)
Elie Wiesel
4.86*Score adjusted to correct for title consisting of an n-gram occuring with high frequency in the English language corpus.
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 19 (2.14 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 2227 (2.50 points)*Score adjusted to correct for title consisting of an n-gram occuring with high frequency in the English language corpus. | American Literature: 1 (0.03 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 (0.19 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: -96.65%
17Mark as read.Something Wicked this Way Comes (1962)
Ray Bradbury
4.47
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 37 (2.78 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 26 (1.70 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
18Mark as read.Morte d'Urban (1962)
J. F. Powers
4.37
Genre: Mixed Genre

National Book Award Winner (1.00 point) | Google Scholar: 1 (0.45 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 45 (2.09 points) | American Literature: 2 (0.83 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
19Mark as read.Going Away (1962)
Clancy Sigal
4.32
Genre: Novel

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 10 (1.63 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 16 (1.40 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 1 (0.79 points)
20Mark as read.Seven Days in May (1962)
Fletcher Knebel
3.42
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 31 (2.60 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 5 (0.82 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
21Mark as read.The Sand Pebbles (1962)
Richard McKenna
3.38
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 21 (2.23 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 3 (0.63 points) | American Literature: 1 (0.53 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
22Mark as read.Stern (1962)
Bruce Jay Friedman
3.36
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 6 (1.28 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 44 (2.07 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
23Mark as read.Fire on the Mountain (1962)
Edward Abbey
3.36
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 16 (2.00 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.Eleven Kinds of Loneliness (1962)
Richard Yates
3.34
Genre: Collection of Short Stories

Google Scholar: 6 (1.28 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 20 (1.53 points) | American Literature: 1 (0.53 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
25Mark as read.The Jewels of Aptor (1962)
Samuel R. Delany
2.67
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 0 (0.00 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 17 (1.43 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 2 (1.24 points)
26Mark as read.A Shade of Difference (1962)
Allen Drury
1.99
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 5 (1.17 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 5 (0.82 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
27Mark as read.The Golden Spur (1962)
Dawn Powell
1.92
Genre: Mixed Genre

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 1 (0.45 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 7 (0.97 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
28Mark as read.Conditionally Human (1962)
Walter M. Miller, Jr.
1.91
Genre: Collection of Short Stories

Google Scholar: 5 (1.17 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 4 (0.73 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
29Mark as read.Morning in Antibes (1962)
John Knowles
1.27
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 1 (0.45 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 .

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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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