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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 1966

# Title Author Year Score
1Mark as read.The Crying of Lot 49Thomas Pynchon196616.60
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 773 (7.53 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 374 (4.23 points) | American Literature: 11 (1.98 points) | American Literary History: 10 (2.85 points)
2Mark as read.The FixerBernard Malamud196611.53
Genre: Novel

Pulitzer Prize Winner (1.00 point) | National Book Award Winner (1.00 point) | Google Scholar: 99 (3.94 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 125 (2.98 points) | American Literature: 3 (1.04 points) | American Literary History: 3 (1.57 points)
3Mark as read.JubileeMargaret Walker196611.38
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 200 (4.96 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 158 (3.22 points) | American Literature: 5 (1.37 points) | American Literary History: 4 (1.83 points)
4Mark as read.Giles Goat-BoyJohn Barth19669.38
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 84 (3.72 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 164 (3.26 points) | American Literature: 7 (1.61 points) | American Literary History: 1 (0.79 points)
5Mark as read.The Last GentlemanWalker Percy19668.67
Genre: Novel

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 87 (3.77 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 152 (3.18 points) | American Literature: 4 (1.22 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
6Mark as read.The Gates of the ForestElie Wiesel19666.39
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 91 (3.83 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 80 (2.56 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
7Mark as read.The Last Picture ShowLarry McMurtry19666.29
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 39 (2.83 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 90 (2.67 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 1 (0.79 points)
8Mark as read.The Moon is a Harsh MistressRobert Heinlein19665.58
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 142 (4.44 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 10 (1.14 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
9Mark as read.Omensetter's LuckWilliam Gass19665.12
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 11 (1.70 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 43 (2.05 points) | American Literature: 5 (1.37 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
10Mark as read.The Origin of the BrunistsRobert Coover19665.05
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 20 (2.19 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 42 (2.04 points) | American Literature: 2 (0.83 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
11Mark as read.Babel-17Samuel R. Delany19664.52
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 31 (2.60 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 36 (1.92 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
12Mark as read.Valley of the DollsJacqueline Susann19663.98
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 36 (2.75 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 12 (1.24 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
13Mark as read.Been Down So Long It Looks Like Up to MeRichard Farina19663.53
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 25 (2.39 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 10 (1.14 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
14Mark as read.The EmbezzlerLouis Auchincloss19663.28
Genre: Novel

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 6 (1.28 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 7 (0.97 points) | American Literature: 1 (0.53 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
15Mark as read.Up Above the WorldPaul Bowles19663.23
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 9 (1.55 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 25 (1.67 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
16Mark as read.Big as LifeE. L. Doctorow19662.94
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 5 (1.17 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 12 (1.24 points) | American Literature: 1 (0.53 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
17Mark as read.Empire StarSamuel R. Delany19662.74
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 7 (1.38 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 15 (1.36 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
18Mark as read.A Dream of KingsHarry Mark Petrakis19662.74
Genre: Mixed Genre

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 4 (1.05 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 11 (1.19 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
19Mark as read.Capable of HonorAllen Drury19662.43
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 5 (1.17 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 4 (0.73 points) | American Literature: 1 (0.53 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
20Mark as read.All in the FamilyEdwin O'Connor19662.26
Genre: Mixed Genre

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 0 (0.00 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 12 (1.24 points) | American Literature: 1 (0.53 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
21Mark as read.Nabokov's QuartetVladimir Nabokov19662.07
Genre: Mixed Genre

Google Scholar: 5 (1.17 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 6 (0.90 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
22Mark as read.The Last CastleJack Vance19661.99
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)
23Mark as read.A Wilderness of VinesHal Bennett19661.79
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 3 (0.90 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.Office PoliticsWilfrid Sheed19661.70
Genre: Mixed Genre

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | 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)
# Score
1Mark as read.The Crying of Lot 49 (1966)
Thomas Pynchon
16.60
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 773 (7.53 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 374 (4.23 points) | American Literature: 11 (1.98 points) | American Literary History: 10 (2.85 points)
2Mark as read.The Fixer (1966)
Bernard Malamud
11.53
Genre: Novel

Pulitzer Prize Winner (1.00 point) | National Book Award Winner (1.00 point) | Google Scholar: 99 (3.94 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 125 (2.98 points) | American Literature: 3 (1.04 points) | American Literary History: 3 (1.57 points)
3Mark as read.Jubilee (1966)
Margaret Walker
11.38
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 200 (4.96 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 158 (3.22 points) | American Literature: 5 (1.37 points) | American Literary History: 4 (1.83 points)
4Mark as read.Giles Goat-Boy (1966)
John Barth
9.38
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 84 (3.72 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 164 (3.26 points) | American Literature: 7 (1.61 points) | American Literary History: 1 (0.79 points)
5Mark as read.The Last Gentleman (1966)
Walker Percy
8.67
Genre: Novel

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 87 (3.77 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 152 (3.18 points) | American Literature: 4 (1.22 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
6Mark as read.The Gates of the Forest (1966)
Elie Wiesel
6.39
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 91 (3.83 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 80 (2.56 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
7Mark as read.The Last Picture Show (1966)
Larry McMurtry
6.29
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 39 (2.83 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 90 (2.67 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 1 (0.79 points)
8Mark as read.The Moon is a Harsh Mistress (1966)
Robert Heinlein
5.58
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 142 (4.44 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 10 (1.14 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
9Mark as read.Omensetter's Luck (1966)
William Gass
5.12
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 11 (1.70 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 43 (2.05 points) | American Literature: 5 (1.37 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
10Mark as read.The Origin of the Brunists (1966)
Robert Coover
5.05
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 20 (2.19 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 42 (2.04 points) | American Literature: 2 (0.83 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
11Mark as read.Babel-17 (1966)
Samuel R. Delany
4.52
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 31 (2.60 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 36 (1.92 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
12Mark as read.Valley of the Dolls (1966)
Jacqueline Susann
3.98
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 36 (2.75 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 12 (1.24 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
13Mark as read.Been Down So Long It Looks Like Up to Me (1966)
Richard Farina
3.53
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 25 (2.39 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 10 (1.14 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
14Mark as read.The Embezzler (1966)
Louis Auchincloss
3.28
Genre: Novel

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 6 (1.28 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 7 (0.97 points) | American Literature: 1 (0.53 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
15Mark as read.Up Above the World (1966)
Paul Bowles
3.23
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 9 (1.55 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 25 (1.67 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
16Mark as read.Big as Life (1966)
E. L. Doctorow
2.94
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 5 (1.17 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 12 (1.24 points) | American Literature: 1 (0.53 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
17Mark as read.Empire Star (1966)
Samuel R. Delany
2.74
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 7 (1.38 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 15 (1.36 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
18Mark as read.A Dream of Kings (1966)
Harry Mark Petrakis
2.74
Genre: Mixed Genre

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 4 (1.05 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 11 (1.19 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
19Mark as read.Capable of Honor (1966)
Allen Drury
2.43
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 5 (1.17 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 4 (0.73 points) | American Literature: 1 (0.53 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
20Mark as read.All in the Family (1966)
Edwin O'Connor
2.26
Genre: Mixed Genre

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 0 (0.00 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 12 (1.24 points) | American Literature: 1 (0.53 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
21Mark as read.Nabokov's Quartet (1966)
Vladimir Nabokov
2.07
Genre: Mixed Genre

Google Scholar: 5 (1.17 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 6 (0.90 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
22Mark as read.The Last Castle (1966)
Jack Vance
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)
23Mark as read.A Wilderness of Vines (1966)
Hal Bennett
1.79
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 3 (0.90 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.Office Politics (1966)
Wilfrid Sheed
1.70
Genre: Mixed Genre

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | 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)

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Include only:

Include only works published between and .

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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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