metacanon logo
METACANON 0.7
about
statistics
blog
login
metacanon logo
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.

Presets:

19th Century
20th Century
1800 - Present
New York Times Archive

Custom



Include only:

Show More Options

Include only works published between and .

Althorithm Modifications

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









AMERICAN FICTION 1979

# Title Author Year Score
1Mark as read.Sophie's ChoiceWilliam Styron197913.77
Genre: Novel

National Book Award Winner (1.00 point) | Google Scholar: 350 (5.92 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 102 (2.78 points) | American Literature: 9 (1.81 points) | American Literary History: 6 (2.25 points)
2Mark as read.LETTERSJohn Barth197911.73*Score adjusted to correct for title consisting of an n-gram occuring with high frequency in the English language corpus.
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 48 (3.05 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 1091 (4.21 points)*Score adjusted to correct for title consisting of an n-gram occuring with high frequency in the English language corpus. | American Literature: 64 (2.63 points)*Score adjusted to correct for title consisting of an n-gram occuring with high frequency in the English language corpus. | American Literary History: 12 (1.84 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: -66.36%
3Mark as read.KindredOctavia Butler197910.15
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 175 (4.75 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 124 (2.97 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 7 (2.42 points)
4Mark as read.Just Above My HeadJames Baldwin19798.90
Genre: Novel

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 72 (3.53 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 101 (2.77 points) | American Literature: 1 (0.53 points) | American Literary History: 3 (1.57 points)
5Mark as read.The Stories of John CheeverJohn Cheever19797.99
Genre: Collection of Short Stories

Pulitzer Prize Winner (1.00 point) | National Book Award Winner (1.00 point) | Google Scholar: 79 (3.64 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 31 (1.82 points) | American Literature: 1 (0.53 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
6Mark as read.SuttreeCormac McCarthy19797.37
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 66 (3.42 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 144 (3.12 points) | American Literature: 2 (0.83 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
7Mark as read.Collected StoriesPaul Bowles19796.94
Genre: Collection of Short Stories

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 30 (2.56 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 56 (2.26 points) | American Literature: 2 (0.83 points) | American Literary History: 1 (0.79 points)
8Mark as read.The Death of Jim LoneyJames Welch19796.35
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 82 (3.69 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 89 (2.66 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
9Mark as read.The Ghost WriterPhillip Roth19795.98
Genre: Novel

Pulitzer Prize Finalist (0.50 points) | National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 146 (4.48 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 2 (0.50 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
10Mark as read.Tales of NevèrÿonSamuel R. Delany19795.04
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 33 (2.66 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 22 (1.59 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 1 (0.79 points)
11Mark as read.UmbertinaHelen Barolini19795.00
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 21 (2.23 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 39 (1.98 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 1 (0.79 points)
12Mark as read.Too Far to GoJohn Updike19794.95
Genre: Mixed Genre

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 14 (1.89 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 14 (1.32 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 2 (1.24 points)
13Mark as read.Miss MacIntosh, My DarlingMarguerite Young19794.81
Genre: Novel

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 10 (1.63 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 15 (1.36 points) | American Literature: 1 (0.53 points) | American Literary History: 1 (0.79 points)
14Mark as read.Mulligan StewGilbert Sorrentino19794.79
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 21 (2.23 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 42 (2.04 points) | American Literature: 1 (0.53 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
15Mark as read.JailbirdKurt Vonnegut19794.77
Genre: Mixed Genre

Google Scholar: 17 (2.05 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 35 (1.90 points) | American Literature: 2 (0.83 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
16Mark as read.HomebaseShawn Wong19794.58
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 18 (2.09 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 26 (1.70 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 1 (0.79 points)
17Mark as read.Dubin's LivesBernard Malamud19794.36
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 22 (2.27 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 45 (2.09 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
18Mark as read.Of This Time, of That Place and Other StoriesLionel Trilling19794.03
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 22 (2.27 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 12 (1.24 points) | American Literature: 1 (0.53 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
19Mark as read.Legends of the FallJim Harrison19793.92
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 17 (2.05 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.Anastasia KrupnikLois Lowry19793.88
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 30 (2.56 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 14 (1.32 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
21Mark as read.Sleepless NightsElizabeth Hardwick19793.86
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 19 (2.14 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 27 (1.72 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
22Mark as read.Da Vinci's BicycleGuy Davenport19793.65
Genre: Collection of Short Stories

Google Scholar: 12 (1.77 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 34 (1.88 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
23Mark as read.Violet ClayGail Godwin19793.63
Genre: Novel

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 10 (1.63 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 19 (1.50 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
24Mark as read.TortugaRudolfo Anaya19793.39
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 13 (1.83 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 21 (1.56 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
25Mark as read.Flowers in the AtticV. C. Andrews19793.38
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 30 (2.56 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 5 (0.82 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
26Mark as read.RushesJohn Rechy19793.36
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 13 (1.83 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 20 (1.53 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
27Mark as read.The Chauvinist and Other StoriesToshio Mori19793.00
Genre: Collection of Short Stories

Google Scholar: 12 (1.77 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 12 (1.24 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
28Mark as read.Endless LoveScott Spencer19792.78
Genre: Mixed Genre

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 4 (1.05 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 12 (1.24 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
29Mark as read.Vision QuestTerry Davis19792.54
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 4 (1.05 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 19 (1.50 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
30Mark as read.BirdyWilliam Wharton19792.51
Genre: Mixed Genre

Pulitzer Prize Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 4 (1.05 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 7 (0.97 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
31Mark as read.Good as GoldJoseph Heller19791.82
Genre: Mixed Genre

Google Scholar: 0 (0.00 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 31 (1.82 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
# Score
1Mark as read.Sophie's Choice (1979)
William Styron
13.77
Genre: Novel

National Book Award Winner (1.00 point) | Google Scholar: 350 (5.92 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 102 (2.78 points) | American Literature: 9 (1.81 points) | American Literary History: 6 (2.25 points)
2Mark as read.LETTERS (1979)
John Barth
11.73*Score adjusted to correct for title consisting of an n-gram occuring with high frequency in the English language corpus.
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 48 (3.05 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 1091 (4.21 points)*Score adjusted to correct for title consisting of an n-gram occuring with high frequency in the English language corpus. | American Literature: 64 (2.63 points)*Score adjusted to correct for title consisting of an n-gram occuring with high frequency in the English language corpus. | American Literary History: 12 (1.84 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: -66.36%
3Mark as read.Kindred (1979)
Octavia Butler
10.15
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 175 (4.75 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 124 (2.97 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 7 (2.42 points)
4Mark as read.Just Above My Head (1979)
James Baldwin
8.90
Genre: Novel

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 72 (3.53 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 101 (2.77 points) | American Literature: 1 (0.53 points) | American Literary History: 3 (1.57 points)
5Mark as read.The Stories of John Cheever (1979)
John Cheever
7.99
Genre: Collection of Short Stories

Pulitzer Prize Winner (1.00 point) | National Book Award Winner (1.00 point) | Google Scholar: 79 (3.64 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 31 (1.82 points) | American Literature: 1 (0.53 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
6Mark as read.Suttree (1979)
Cormac McCarthy
7.37
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 66 (3.42 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 144 (3.12 points) | American Literature: 2 (0.83 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
7Mark as read.Collected Stories (1979)
Paul Bowles
6.94
Genre: Collection of Short Stories

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 30 (2.56 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 56 (2.26 points) | American Literature: 2 (0.83 points) | American Literary History: 1 (0.79 points)
8Mark as read.The Death of Jim Loney (1979)
James Welch
6.35
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 82 (3.69 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 89 (2.66 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
9Mark as read.The Ghost Writer (1979)
Phillip Roth
5.98
Genre: Novel

Pulitzer Prize Finalist (0.50 points) | National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 146 (4.48 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 2 (0.50 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
10Mark as read.Tales of Nevèrÿon (1979)
Samuel R. Delany
5.04
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 33 (2.66 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 22 (1.59 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 1 (0.79 points)
11Mark as read.Umbertina (1979)
Helen Barolini
5.00
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 21 (2.23 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 39 (1.98 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 1 (0.79 points)
12Mark as read.Too Far to Go (1979)
John Updike
4.95
Genre: Mixed Genre

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 14 (1.89 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 14 (1.32 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 2 (1.24 points)
13Mark as read.Miss MacIntosh, My Darling (1979)
Marguerite Young
4.81
Genre: Novel

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 10 (1.63 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 15 (1.36 points) | American Literature: 1 (0.53 points) | American Literary History: 1 (0.79 points)
14Mark as read.Mulligan Stew (1979)
Gilbert Sorrentino
4.79
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 21 (2.23 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 42 (2.04 points) | American Literature: 1 (0.53 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
15Mark as read.Jailbird (1979)
Kurt Vonnegut
4.77
Genre: Mixed Genre

Google Scholar: 17 (2.05 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 35 (1.90 points) | American Literature: 2 (0.83 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
16Mark as read.Homebase (1979)
Shawn Wong
4.58
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 18 (2.09 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 26 (1.70 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 1 (0.79 points)
17Mark as read.Dubin's Lives (1979)
Bernard Malamud
4.36
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 22 (2.27 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 45 (2.09 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
18Mark as read.Of This Time, of That Place and Other Stories (1979)
Lionel Trilling
4.03
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 22 (2.27 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 12 (1.24 points) | American Literature: 1 (0.53 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
19Mark as read.Legends of the Fall (1979)
Jim Harrison
3.92
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 17 (2.05 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.Anastasia Krupnik (1979)
Lois Lowry
3.88
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 30 (2.56 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 14 (1.32 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
21Mark as read.Sleepless Nights (1979)
Elizabeth Hardwick
3.86
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 19 (2.14 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 27 (1.72 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
22Mark as read.Da Vinci's Bicycle (1979)
Guy Davenport
3.65
Genre: Collection of Short Stories

Google Scholar: 12 (1.77 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 34 (1.88 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
23Mark as read.Violet Clay (1979)
Gail Godwin
3.63
Genre: Novel

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 10 (1.63 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 19 (1.50 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
24Mark as read.Tortuga (1979)
Rudolfo Anaya
3.39
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 13 (1.83 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 21 (1.56 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
25Mark as read.Flowers in the Attic (1979)
V. C. Andrews
3.38
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 30 (2.56 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 5 (0.82 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
26Mark as read.Rushes (1979)
John Rechy
3.36
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 13 (1.83 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 20 (1.53 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
27Mark as read.The Chauvinist and Other Stories (1979)
Toshio Mori
3.00
Genre: Collection of Short Stories

Google Scholar: 12 (1.77 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 12 (1.24 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
28Mark as read.Endless Love (1979)
Scott Spencer
2.78
Genre: Mixed Genre

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 4 (1.05 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 12 (1.24 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
29Mark as read.Vision Quest (1979)
Terry Davis
2.54
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 4 (1.05 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 19 (1.50 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
30Mark as read.Birdy (1979)
William Wharton
2.51
Genre: Mixed Genre

Pulitzer Prize Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 4 (1.05 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 7 (0.97 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
31Mark as read.Good as Gold (1979)
Joseph Heller
1.82
Genre: Mixed Genre

Google Scholar: 0 (0.00 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 31 (1.82 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)

×

You must be logged in to do that.


Click here to log in or register.
×




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.







Yes No

Enter a title for your preset. Your saved presets will appear on your user page.
×

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.


×

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.


metacanon logo
about
statistics
blog
login
metacanon logo
about
statistics
blog
login
Follow us on Twitter. Like us on Facebook.