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









AMERICAN FICTION 1965

# Title Author Year Score
1Mark as read.Collected StoriesKatherine Anne Porter196511.75
Genre: Collection of Short Stories

Pulitzer Prize Winner (1.00 point) | National Book Award Winner (1.00 point) | Google Scholar: 109 (4.07 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 138 (3.08 points) | American Literature: 9 (1.81 points) | American Literary History: 1 (0.79 points)
2Mark as read.Everything that Rises Must ConvergeFlannery O'Connor196510.40
Genre: Collection of Short Stories

Google Scholar: 121 (4.21 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 220 (3.58 points) | American Literature: 5 (1.37 points) | American Literary History: 2 (1.24 points)
3Mark as read.An American DreamNorman Mailer19659.06
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 144 (4.46 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 160 (3.23 points) | American Literature: 5 (1.37 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
4Mark as read.DuneFrank Herbert19658.50
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 224 (5.15 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 107 (2.83 points) | American Literature: 1 (0.53 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
5Mark as read.The Orchard KeeperCormac McCarthy19656.97
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 60 (3.31 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 108 (2.84 points) | American Literature: 2 (0.83 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
6Mark as read.God Bless You, Mr. RosewaterKurt Vonnegut19656.76
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 69 (3.48 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 71 (2.46 points) | American Literature: 2 (0.83 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
7Mark as read.StonerJohn Williams19656.58
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 13 (1.83 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 146 (3.14 points) | American Literature: 2 (0.83 points) | American Literary History: 1 (0.79 points)
8Mark as read.Cotton Comes to HarlemChester Himes19656.42
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 36 (2.75 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 35 (1.90 points) | American Literature: 1 (0.53 points) | American Literary History: 2 (1.24 points)
9Mark as read.Going to Meet the ManJames Baldwin19656.15
Genre: Collection of Short Stories

Google Scholar: 8 (1.47 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 82 (2.58 points) | American Literature: 1 (0.53 points) | American Literary History: 3 (1.57 points)
10Mark as read.Desolation AngelsJack Kerouac19656.10
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 63 (3.37 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 52 (2.20 points) | American Literature: 1 (0.53 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
11Mark as read.The Fortunate PilgrimMario Puzo19655.17
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 48 (3.05 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 14 (1.32 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 1 (0.79 points)
12Mark as read.The System of Dante's HellLeRoi Jones19654.88
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 17 (2.05 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 59 (2.30 points) | American Literature: 1 (0.53 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
13Mark as read.Simple's Uncle SamLangston Hughes19654.74
Genre: Collection of Short Stories

Google Scholar: 23 (2.31 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 35 (1.90 points) | American Literature: 1 (0.53 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
14Mark as read.At Play in the Fields of the LordPeter Matthiessen19654.64
Genre: Novel

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 37 (2.78 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 15 (1.36 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
15Mark as read.The Black CauldronLloyd Alexander19654.34
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 45 (2.98 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 15 (1.36 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
16Mark as read.Mrs. Stevens Hears the Mermaids SingingMay Sarton19654.29
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 43 (2.93 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 15 (1.36 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
17Mark as read.Fairy TalesE. E. Cummings19654.27
Genre: Collection of Short Stories

Google Scholar: 7 (1.38 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 114 (2.89 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
18Mark as read.The (Diblos) NotebookJames Merrill19653.44
Genre: Mixed Genre

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 5 (1.17 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 29 (1.77 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
19Mark as read.Satori in ParisJack Kerouac19653.17
Genre: Novella

Google Scholar: 11 (1.70 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 18 (1.47 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
20Mark as read.In the Heat of the NightJohn Ball19652.46
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 19 (2.14 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.The Liberation of Lord Byron JonesJesse Hill Ford19651.98
Genre: Novel

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 1 (0.45 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 8 (1.03 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
22Mark as read.Destination: VoidFrank Herbert19651.88
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 7 (1.38 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 2 (0.50 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
23Mark as read.Pericles on 31st StreetHarry Mark Petrakis19651.40
Genre: Mixed Genre

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 0 (0.00 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 6 (0.90 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
24Mark as read.The Ballad of Beta-2Samuel R. Delany19651.03
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 0 (0.00 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 8 (1.03 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
25Mark as read.City of a Thousand SunsSamuel R. Delany19650.90
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 0 (0.00 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 6 (0.90 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
# Score
1Mark as read.Collected Stories (1965)
Katherine Anne Porter
11.75
Genre: Collection of Short Stories

Pulitzer Prize Winner (1.00 point) | National Book Award Winner (1.00 point) | Google Scholar: 109 (4.07 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 138 (3.08 points) | American Literature: 9 (1.81 points) | American Literary History: 1 (0.79 points)
2Mark as read.Everything that Rises Must Converge (1965)
Flannery O'Connor
10.40
Genre: Collection of Short Stories

Google Scholar: 121 (4.21 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 220 (3.58 points) | American Literature: 5 (1.37 points) | American Literary History: 2 (1.24 points)
3Mark as read.An American Dream (1965)
Norman Mailer
9.06
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 144 (4.46 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 160 (3.23 points) | American Literature: 5 (1.37 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
4Mark as read.Dune (1965)
Frank Herbert
8.50
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 224 (5.15 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 107 (2.83 points) | American Literature: 1 (0.53 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
5Mark as read.The Orchard Keeper (1965)
Cormac McCarthy
6.97
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 60 (3.31 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 108 (2.84 points) | American Literature: 2 (0.83 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
6Mark as read.God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater (1965)
Kurt Vonnegut
6.76
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 69 (3.48 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 71 (2.46 points) | American Literature: 2 (0.83 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
7Mark as read.Stoner (1965)
John Williams
6.58
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 13 (1.83 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 146 (3.14 points) | American Literature: 2 (0.83 points) | American Literary History: 1 (0.79 points)
8Mark as read.Cotton Comes to Harlem (1965)
Chester Himes
6.42
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 36 (2.75 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 35 (1.90 points) | American Literature: 1 (0.53 points) | American Literary History: 2 (1.24 points)
9Mark as read.Going to Meet the Man (1965)
James Baldwin
6.15
Genre: Collection of Short Stories

Google Scholar: 8 (1.47 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 82 (2.58 points) | American Literature: 1 (0.53 points) | American Literary History: 3 (1.57 points)
10Mark as read.Desolation Angels (1965)
Jack Kerouac
6.10
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 63 (3.37 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 52 (2.20 points) | American Literature: 1 (0.53 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
11Mark as read.The Fortunate Pilgrim (1965)
Mario Puzo
5.17
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 48 (3.05 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 14 (1.32 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 1 (0.79 points)
12Mark as read.The System of Dante's Hell (1965)
LeRoi Jones
4.88
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 17 (2.05 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 59 (2.30 points) | American Literature: 1 (0.53 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
13Mark as read.Simple's Uncle Sam (1965)
Langston Hughes
4.74
Genre: Collection of Short Stories

Google Scholar: 23 (2.31 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 35 (1.90 points) | American Literature: 1 (0.53 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
14Mark as read.At Play in the Fields of the Lord (1965)
Peter Matthiessen
4.64
Genre: Novel

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 37 (2.78 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 15 (1.36 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
15Mark as read.The Black Cauldron (1965)
Lloyd Alexander
4.34
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 45 (2.98 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 15 (1.36 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
16Mark as read.Mrs. Stevens Hears the Mermaids Singing (1965)
May Sarton
4.29
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 43 (2.93 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 15 (1.36 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
17Mark as read.Fairy Tales (1965)
E. E. Cummings
4.27
Genre: Collection of Short Stories

Google Scholar: 7 (1.38 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 114 (2.89 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
18Mark as read.The (Diblos) Notebook (1965)
James Merrill
3.44
Genre: Mixed Genre

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 5 (1.17 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 29 (1.77 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
19Mark as read.Satori in Paris (1965)
Jack Kerouac
3.17
Genre: Novella

Google Scholar: 11 (1.70 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 18 (1.47 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
20Mark as read.In the Heat of the Night (1965)
John Ball
2.46
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 19 (2.14 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.The Liberation of Lord Byron Jones (1965)
Jesse Hill Ford
1.98
Genre: Novel

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 1 (0.45 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 8 (1.03 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
22Mark as read.Destination: Void (1965)
Frank Herbert
1.88
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 7 (1.38 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 2 (0.50 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
23Mark as read.Pericles on 31st Street (1965)
Harry Mark Petrakis
1.40
Genre: Mixed Genre

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 0 (0.00 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 6 (0.90 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
24Mark as read.The Ballad of Beta-2 (1965)
Samuel R. Delany
1.03
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 0 (0.00 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 8 (1.03 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
25Mark as read.City of a Thousand Suns (1965)
Samuel R. Delany
0.90
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 0 (0.00 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 6 (0.90 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)

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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.







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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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