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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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Althorithm Modifications

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









AMERICAN FICTION 1975

# Title Author Year Score
1Mark as read.Humboldt's GiftSaul Bellow197510.75
Genre: Novel

Pulitzer Prize Winner (1.00 point) | National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 138 (4.40 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 161 (3.24 points) | American Literature: 7 (1.61 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
2Mark as read.CorregidoraGayl Jones197510.58
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 181 (4.81 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 149 (3.16 points) | American Literature: 3 (1.04 points) | American Literary History: 3 (1.57 points)
3Mark as read.The Monkey Wrench GangEdward Abbey197510.23
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 361 (5.98 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 51 (2.19 points) | American Literature: 2 (0.83 points) | American Literary History: 2 (1.24 points)
4Mark as read.RagtimeE. L. Doctorow19759.92
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 162 (4.64 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 128 (3.00 points) | American Literature: 3 (1.04 points) | American Literary History: 2 (1.24 points)
5Mark as read.The Female ManJoanna Russ19758.64
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 186 (4.85 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 128 (3.00 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 1 (0.79 points)
6Mark as read.J RWilliam Gaddis19757.40
Genre: Novel

National Book Award Winner (1.00 point) | Google Scholar: 11 (1.70 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 78 (2.54 points) | American Literature: 5 (1.37 points) | American Literary History: 1 (0.79 points)
7Mark as read.DhalgrenSamuel R. Delany19756.34
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 22 (2.27 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 75 (2.51 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 3 (1.57 points)
8Mark as read.WifeBharati Mukherjee19755.77*Score adjusted to correct for title consisting of an n-gram occuring with high frequency in the English language corpus.
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 65 (3.40 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 201 (1.81 points)*Score adjusted to correct for title consisting of an n-gram occuring with high frequency in the English language corpus. | American Literature: 1 (0.11 points)*Score adjusted to correct for title consisting of an n-gram occuring with high frequency in the English language corpus. | American Literary History: 3 (0.44 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: -84.79%
9Mark as read.ForeverJudy Blume19755.49*Score adjusted to correct for title consisting of an n-gram occuring with high frequency in the English language corpus.
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 59 (3.29 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 111 (2.20 points)*Score adjusted to correct for title consisting of an n-gram occuring with high frequency in the English language corpus. | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points)*Score adjusted to correct for title consisting of an n-gram occuring with high frequency in the English language corpus. | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 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: -52.96%
10Mark as read.LegsWilliam Kennedy19755.32
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 8 (1.47 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 135 (3.06 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 1 (0.79 points)
11Mark as read.Eva's ManGayl Jones19755.19
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 38 (2.80 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 65 (2.38 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
12Mark as read.Tyrants DestroyedVladimir Nabokov19754.90
Genre: Collection of Short Stories

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 23 (2.31 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 21 (1.56 points) | American Literature: 1 (0.53 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
13Mark as read.Looking for Mr. GoodbarJudith Rossner19754.20
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 38 (2.80 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 16 (1.40 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
14Mark as read.FactotumCharles Bukowski19753.69
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 28 (2.50 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 11 (1.19 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
15Mark as read.Beyond the Bedroom WallLarry Woiwode19753.62
Genre: Novel

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 8 (1.47 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 24 (1.65 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
16Mark as read.Collected StoriesHortense Calisher19753.59
Genre: Collection of Short Stories

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 2 (0.71 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 21 (1.56 points) | American Literature: 2 (0.83 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
17Mark as read.Terms of EndearmentLarry McMurtry19753.50
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 13 (1.83 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 25 (1.67 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
18Mark as read.Willard and His Bowling TrophiesRichard Brautigan19753.19
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 11 (1.70 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 7 (0.97 points) | American Literature: 1 (0.53 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
19Mark as read.The Great Train RobberyMichael Crichton19753.14
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 16 (2.00 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 10 (1.14 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
20Mark as read.Light YearsJames Salter19752.97
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 8 (1.47 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 19 (1.50 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
21Mark as read.Black SundayThomas Harris19752.60
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 6 (1.28 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 14 (1.32 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
22Mark as read.South StreetDavid Bradley19752.59
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 3 (0.90 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 26 (1.70 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
23Mark as read. The Architecture of the Arkansas OzarksDonald Harington19752.49
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 5 (1.17 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 14 (1.32 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
24Mark as read.The DissertationR. M. Koster19751.36
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 4 (1.05 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 1 (0.32 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
25Mark as read.Other People's LivesJohanna Kaplan19750.50
Genre: Collection of Short Stories

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 0 (0.00 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 0 (0.00 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
# Score
1Mark as read.Humboldt's Gift (1975)
Saul Bellow
10.75
Genre: Novel

Pulitzer Prize Winner (1.00 point) | National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 138 (4.40 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 161 (3.24 points) | American Literature: 7 (1.61 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
2Mark as read.Corregidora (1975)
Gayl Jones
10.58
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 181 (4.81 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 149 (3.16 points) | American Literature: 3 (1.04 points) | American Literary History: 3 (1.57 points)
3Mark as read.The Monkey Wrench Gang (1975)
Edward Abbey
10.23
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 361 (5.98 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 51 (2.19 points) | American Literature: 2 (0.83 points) | American Literary History: 2 (1.24 points)
4Mark as read.Ragtime (1975)
E. L. Doctorow
9.92
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 162 (4.64 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 128 (3.00 points) | American Literature: 3 (1.04 points) | American Literary History: 2 (1.24 points)
5Mark as read.The Female Man (1975)
Joanna Russ
8.64
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 186 (4.85 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 128 (3.00 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 1 (0.79 points)
6Mark as read.J R (1975)
William Gaddis
7.40
Genre: Novel

National Book Award Winner (1.00 point) | Google Scholar: 11 (1.70 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 78 (2.54 points) | American Literature: 5 (1.37 points) | American Literary History: 1 (0.79 points)
7Mark as read.Dhalgren (1975)
Samuel R. Delany
6.34
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 22 (2.27 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 75 (2.51 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 3 (1.57 points)
8Mark as read.Wife (1975)
Bharati Mukherjee
5.77*Score adjusted to correct for title consisting of an n-gram occuring with high frequency in the English language corpus.
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 65 (3.40 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 201 (1.81 points)*Score adjusted to correct for title consisting of an n-gram occuring with high frequency in the English language corpus. | American Literature: 1 (0.11 points)*Score adjusted to correct for title consisting of an n-gram occuring with high frequency in the English language corpus. | American Literary History: 3 (0.44 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: -84.79%
9Mark as read.Forever (1975)
Judy Blume
5.49*Score adjusted to correct for title consisting of an n-gram occuring with high frequency in the English language corpus.
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 59 (3.29 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 111 (2.20 points)*Score adjusted to correct for title consisting of an n-gram occuring with high frequency in the English language corpus. | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points)*Score adjusted to correct for title consisting of an n-gram occuring with high frequency in the English language corpus. | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 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: -52.96%
10Mark as read.Legs (1975)
William Kennedy
5.32
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 8 (1.47 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 135 (3.06 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 1 (0.79 points)
11Mark as read.Eva's Man (1975)
Gayl Jones
5.19
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 38 (2.80 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 65 (2.38 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
12Mark as read.Tyrants Destroyed (1975)
Vladimir Nabokov
4.90
Genre: Collection of Short Stories

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 23 (2.31 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 21 (1.56 points) | American Literature: 1 (0.53 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
13Mark as read.Looking for Mr. Goodbar (1975)
Judith Rossner
4.20
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 38 (2.80 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 16 (1.40 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
14Mark as read.Factotum (1975)
Charles Bukowski
3.69
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 28 (2.50 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 11 (1.19 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
15Mark as read.Beyond the Bedroom Wall (1975)
Larry Woiwode
3.62
Genre: Novel

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 8 (1.47 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 24 (1.65 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
16Mark as read.Collected Stories (1975)
Hortense Calisher
3.59
Genre: Collection of Short Stories

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 2 (0.71 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 21 (1.56 points) | American Literature: 2 (0.83 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
17Mark as read.Terms of Endearment (1975)
Larry McMurtry
3.50
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 13 (1.83 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 25 (1.67 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
18Mark as read.Willard and His Bowling Trophies (1975)
Richard Brautigan
3.19
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 11 (1.70 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 7 (0.97 points) | American Literature: 1 (0.53 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
19Mark as read.The Great Train Robbery (1975)
Michael Crichton
3.14
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 16 (2.00 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 10 (1.14 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
20Mark as read.Light Years (1975)
James Salter
2.97
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 8 (1.47 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 19 (1.50 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
21Mark as read.Black Sunday (1975)
Thomas Harris
2.60
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 6 (1.28 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 14 (1.32 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
22Mark as read.South Street (1975)
David Bradley
2.59
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 3 (0.90 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 26 (1.70 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
23Mark as read. The Architecture of the Arkansas Ozarks (1975)
Donald Harington
2.49
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 5 (1.17 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 14 (1.32 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
24Mark as read.The Dissertation (1975)
R. M. Koster
1.36
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 4 (1.05 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 1 (0.32 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
25Mark as read.Other People's Lives (1975)
Johanna Kaplan
0.50
Genre: Collection of Short Stories

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 0 (0.00 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 0 (0.00 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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