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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 1970

# Title Author Year Score
1Mark as read.The Bluest EyeToni Morrison197018.24
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 1238 (8.65 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 597 (4.88 points) | American Literature: 13 (2.13 points) | American Literary History: 8 (2.58 points)
2Mark as read.Mr. Sammler's PlanetSaul Bellow197011.66
Genre: Novel

National Book Award Winner (1.00 point) | Google Scholar: 194 (4.92 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 221 (3.59 points) | American Literature: 5 (1.37 points) | American Literary History: 1 (0.79 points)
3Mark as read.DeliveranceJames Dickey19709.99
Genre: Novel

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 82 (3.69 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 206 (3.51 points) | American Literature: 6 (1.50 points) | American Literary History: 1 (0.79 points)
4Mark as read.The Third Life of Grange CopelandAlice Walker19708.56
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 152 (4.54 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 104 (2.80 points) | American Literature: 4 (1.22 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
5Mark as read.Islands in the StreamErnest Hemingway19708.50
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 72 (3.53 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 108 (2.84 points) | American Literature: 13 (2.13 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
6Mark as read.Losing BattlesEudora Welty19707.86
Genre: Novel

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 17 (2.05 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 163 (3.25 points) | American Literature: 12 (2.06 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
7Mark as read.Play it As It LaysJoan Didion19707.47
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 84 (3.72 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 69 (2.43 points) | American Literature: 1 (0.53 points) | American Literary History: 1 (0.79 points)
8Mark as read.Are You There God? It's Me, MargaretJudy Blume19706.36
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 180 (4.80 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 21 (1.56 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
9Mark as read.Bech: A BookJohn Updike19706.33
Genre: Collection of Short Stories

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 23 (2.31 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 49 (2.15 points) | American Literature: 5 (1.37 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
10Mark as read.Jonathan Livingston SeagullRichard Bach19706.16
Genre: Novella

Google Scholar: 221 (5.13 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 8 (1.03 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
11Mark as read.A Beggar in JerusalemElie Wiesel19704.96
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 44 (2.96 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 40 (2.00 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
12Mark as read.Love StoryErich Segal19704.84
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 43 (2.93 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 35 (1.90 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
13Mark as read.The Trumpet of the SwanE. B. White19704.67
Genre: Novel, Other

Google Scholar: 55 (3.21 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 18 (1.47 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
14Mark as read.RingworldLarry Niven19704.57
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 45 (2.98 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 22 (1.59 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
15Mark as read.Ripley Under GroundPatricia Highsmith19703.84
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 21 (2.23 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 5 (0.82 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 1 (0.79 points)
16Mark as read.The Bay of NoonShirley Hazzard19703.50
Genre: Novel

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 7 (1.38 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 23 (1.62 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
17Mark as read.Desperate CharactersPaula Fox19703.32
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 9 (1.55 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 12 (1.24 points) | American Literature: 1 (0.53 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
18Mark as read.Tau ZeroPoul Anderson19703.28
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 17 (2.05 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.Lord of Dark PlacesHal Bennett19703.16
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 6 (1.28 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 9 (1.09 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 1 (0.79 points)
20Mark as read.Rich Man, Poor ManIrwin Shaw19702.89
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 11 (1.70 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 11 (1.19 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
21Mark as read.Dealing: or the Berkeley-to-Boston Forty-Brick Lost-Bag BluesMichael Crichton19701.54
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 4 (1.05 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 Bluest Eye (1970)
Toni Morrison
18.24
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 1238 (8.65 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 597 (4.88 points) | American Literature: 13 (2.13 points) | American Literary History: 8 (2.58 points)
2Mark as read.Mr. Sammler's Planet (1970)
Saul Bellow
11.66
Genre: Novel

National Book Award Winner (1.00 point) | Google Scholar: 194 (4.92 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 221 (3.59 points) | American Literature: 5 (1.37 points) | American Literary History: 1 (0.79 points)
3Mark as read.Deliverance (1970)
James Dickey
9.99
Genre: Novel

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 82 (3.69 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 206 (3.51 points) | American Literature: 6 (1.50 points) | American Literary History: 1 (0.79 points)
4Mark as read.The Third Life of Grange Copeland (1970)
Alice Walker
8.56
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 152 (4.54 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 104 (2.80 points) | American Literature: 4 (1.22 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
5Mark as read.Islands in the Stream (1970)
Ernest Hemingway
8.50
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 72 (3.53 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 108 (2.84 points) | American Literature: 13 (2.13 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
6Mark as read.Losing Battles (1970)
Eudora Welty
7.86
Genre: Novel

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 17 (2.05 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 163 (3.25 points) | American Literature: 12 (2.06 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
7Mark as read.Play it As It Lays (1970)
Joan Didion
7.47
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 84 (3.72 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 69 (2.43 points) | American Literature: 1 (0.53 points) | American Literary History: 1 (0.79 points)
8Mark as read.Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret (1970)
Judy Blume
6.36
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 180 (4.80 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 21 (1.56 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
9Mark as read.Bech: A Book (1970)
John Updike
6.33
Genre: Collection of Short Stories

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 23 (2.31 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 49 (2.15 points) | American Literature: 5 (1.37 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
10Mark as read.Jonathan Livingston Seagull (1970)
Richard Bach
6.16
Genre: Novella

Google Scholar: 221 (5.13 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 8 (1.03 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
11Mark as read.A Beggar in Jerusalem (1970)
Elie Wiesel
4.96
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 44 (2.96 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 40 (2.00 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
12Mark as read.Love Story (1970)
Erich Segal
4.84
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 43 (2.93 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 35 (1.90 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
13Mark as read.The Trumpet of the Swan (1970)
E. B. White
4.67
Genre: Novel, Other

Google Scholar: 55 (3.21 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 18 (1.47 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
14Mark as read.Ringworld (1970)
Larry Niven
4.57
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 45 (2.98 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 22 (1.59 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
15Mark as read.Ripley Under Ground (1970)
Patricia Highsmith
3.84
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 21 (2.23 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 5 (0.82 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 1 (0.79 points)
16Mark as read.The Bay of Noon (1970)
Shirley Hazzard
3.50
Genre: Novel

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 7 (1.38 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 23 (1.62 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
17Mark as read.Desperate Characters (1970)
Paula Fox
3.32
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 9 (1.55 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 12 (1.24 points) | American Literature: 1 (0.53 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
18Mark as read.Tau Zero (1970)
Poul Anderson
3.28
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 17 (2.05 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.Lord of Dark Places (1970)
Hal Bennett
3.16
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 6 (1.28 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 9 (1.09 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 1 (0.79 points)
20Mark as read.Rich Man, Poor Man (1970)
Irwin Shaw
2.89
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 11 (1.70 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 11 (1.19 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
21Mark as read.Dealing: or the Berkeley-to-Boston Forty-Brick Lost-Bag Blues (1970)
Michael Crichton
1.54
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 4 (1.05 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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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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