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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 1993

# Title Author Year Score
1Mark as read.Operation ShylockPhilip Roth199310.51
Genre: Novel

Pulitzer Prize Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 192 (4.90 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 213 (3.55 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 3 (1.57 points)
2Mark as read.The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in HeavenSherman Alexie19938.62
Genre: Collection of Short Stories

Google Scholar: 246 (5.30 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 103 (2.79 points) | American Literature: 1 (0.53 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
3Mark as read.The GiverLois Lowry19938.23
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 282 (5.54 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 35 (1.90 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 1 (0.79 points)
4Mark as read.Parable of the SowerOctavia Butler19938.08
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 195 (4.92 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 64 (2.37 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 1 (0.79 points)
5Mark as read.The Shipping NewsAnnie Proulx19938.06
Genre: Novel

Pulitzer Prize Winner (1.00 point) | National Book Award Winner (1.00 point) | Google Scholar: 120 (4.20 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 33 (1.86 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
6Mark as read.So Far From GodAna Castillo19937.84
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 153 (4.55 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 74 (2.49 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 1 (0.79 points)
7Mark as read.A Lesson Before DyingErnest J. Gaines19936.72
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 165 (4.66 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 43 (2.05 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
8Mark as read.Free EnterpriseMichelle Cliff19936.40
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 59 (3.29 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 60 (2.32 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 1 (0.79 points)
9Mark as read.The Holder of the WorldBharati Mukherjee19936.19
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 88 (3.78 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 34 (1.88 points) | American Literature: 1 (0.53 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
10Mark as read.Virtual LightWilliam Gibson19936.15
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 102 (3.98 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 50 (2.17 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
11Mark as read.The Virgin SuicidesJeffrey Eugenides19936.10
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 95 (3.88 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 17 (1.43 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 1 (0.79 points)
12Mark as read.Japanese by SpringIshmael Reed19935.52
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 38 (2.80 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 36 (1.92 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 1 (0.79 points)
13Mark as read.QueenAlex Haley19935.50
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 11 (1.70 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 129 (3.01 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 1 (0.79 points)
14Mark as read.NightjohnGary Paulsen19934.62
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 54 (3.19 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 17 (1.43 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
15Mark as read.Pigs in HeavenBarbara Kingsolver19934.57
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 37 (2.78 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 30 (1.79 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
16Mark as read.Collected StoriesReynolds Price19934.42
Genre: Mixed Genre

Pulitzer Prize Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 2 (0.71 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 50 (2.17 points) | American Literature: 3 (1.04 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
17Mark as read.Arabian JazzDiana Abu-Jaber19934.31
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 34 (2.69 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 23 (1.62 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
18Mark as read.Plan BChester Himes19933.82
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 18 (2.09 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 27 (1.72 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
19Mark as read.Feather CrownsBobbie Ann Mason19933.57
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 9 (1.55 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 41 (2.02 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
20Mark as read.Streets of LaredoLarry McMurtry19933.52
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 11 (1.70 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 8 (1.03 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 1 (0.79 points)
21Mark as read.To the White SeaJames Dickey19933.40
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 11 (1.70 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 26 (1.70 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
22Mark as read.BoneFae Myenne Ng19933.19*Score adjusted to correct for title consisting of an n-gram occuring with high frequency in the English language corpus.
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 8 (1.47 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 41 (1.36 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: 1 (0.37 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: -63.66%
23Mark as read.Guilty PleasuresLaurell K. Hamilton19932.85
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 24 (2.35 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 2 (0.50 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
24Mark as read.Along Came a SpiderJames Patterson19932.67
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 17 (2.05 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 3 (0.63 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
25Mark as read.Nobody's FoolRichard Russo19932.61
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 8 (1.47 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 10 (1.14 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
26Mark as read.The Fourteen Sisters of Emilio Montez O'BrienOscar Hijuelos19932.44
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 8 (1.47 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 7 (0.97 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
27Mark as read.Shadow PlayCharles Baxter19932.17
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 3 (0.90 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 13 (1.28 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
28Mark as read.The Bird ArtistHoward Norman19932.04
Genre: Mixed Genre

Pulitzer Prize Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 1 (0.45 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 9 (1.09 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
29Mark as read.White Man's GraveRichard Dooling19931.88
Genre: Novel

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 7 (1.38 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 0 (0.00 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
30Mark as read.Moses SupposesEllen Currie19931.23
Genre: Collection of Short Stories

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 0 (0.00 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 4 (0.73 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
31Mark as read.The Forms of WaterAndrea Barrett19931.20
Genre: Novel

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)
32Mark as read.Foxfire: Confessions of a Girl GangJoyce Carol Oates19931.09
Genre: Mixed Genre

Google Scholar: 0 (0.00 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 9 (1.09 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
33Mark as read.Elect Mr. Robinson For a Better WorldDonald Antrim19931.08
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 1 (0.45 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 3 (0.63 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
# Score
1Mark as read.Operation Shylock (1993)
Philip Roth
10.51
Genre: Novel

Pulitzer Prize Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 192 (4.90 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 213 (3.55 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 3 (1.57 points)
2Mark as read.The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven (1993)
Sherman Alexie
8.62
Genre: Collection of Short Stories

Google Scholar: 246 (5.30 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 103 (2.79 points) | American Literature: 1 (0.53 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
3Mark as read.The Giver (1993)
Lois Lowry
8.23
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 282 (5.54 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 35 (1.90 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 1 (0.79 points)
4Mark as read.Parable of the Sower (1993)
Octavia Butler
8.08
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 195 (4.92 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 64 (2.37 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 1 (0.79 points)
5Mark as read.The Shipping News (1993)
Annie Proulx
8.06
Genre: Novel

Pulitzer Prize Winner (1.00 point) | National Book Award Winner (1.00 point) | Google Scholar: 120 (4.20 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 33 (1.86 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
6Mark as read.So Far From God (1993)
Ana Castillo
7.84
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 153 (4.55 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 74 (2.49 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 1 (0.79 points)
7Mark as read.A Lesson Before Dying (1993)
Ernest J. Gaines
6.72
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 165 (4.66 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 43 (2.05 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
8Mark as read.Free Enterprise (1993)
Michelle Cliff
6.40
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 59 (3.29 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 60 (2.32 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 1 (0.79 points)
9Mark as read.The Holder of the World (1993)
Bharati Mukherjee
6.19
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 88 (3.78 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 34 (1.88 points) | American Literature: 1 (0.53 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
10Mark as read.Virtual Light (1993)
William Gibson
6.15
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 102 (3.98 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 50 (2.17 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
11Mark as read.The Virgin Suicides (1993)
Jeffrey Eugenides
6.10
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 95 (3.88 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 17 (1.43 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 1 (0.79 points)
12Mark as read.Japanese by Spring (1993)
Ishmael Reed
5.52
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 38 (2.80 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 36 (1.92 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 1 (0.79 points)
13Mark as read.Queen (1993)
Alex Haley
5.50
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 11 (1.70 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 129 (3.01 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 1 (0.79 points)
14Mark as read.Nightjohn (1993)
Gary Paulsen
4.62
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 54 (3.19 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 17 (1.43 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
15Mark as read.Pigs in Heaven (1993)
Barbara Kingsolver
4.57
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 37 (2.78 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 30 (1.79 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
16Mark as read.Collected Stories (1993)
Reynolds Price
4.42
Genre: Mixed Genre

Pulitzer Prize Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 2 (0.71 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 50 (2.17 points) | American Literature: 3 (1.04 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
17Mark as read.Arabian Jazz (1993)
Diana Abu-Jaber
4.31
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 34 (2.69 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 23 (1.62 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
18Mark as read.Plan B (1993)
Chester Himes
3.82
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 18 (2.09 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 27 (1.72 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
19Mark as read.Feather Crowns (1993)
Bobbie Ann Mason
3.57
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 9 (1.55 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 41 (2.02 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
20Mark as read.Streets of Laredo (1993)
Larry McMurtry
3.52
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 11 (1.70 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 8 (1.03 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 1 (0.79 points)
21Mark as read.To the White Sea (1993)
James Dickey
3.40
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 11 (1.70 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 26 (1.70 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
22Mark as read.Bone (1993)
Fae Myenne Ng
3.19*Score adjusted to correct for title consisting of an n-gram occuring with high frequency in the English language corpus.
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 8 (1.47 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 41 (1.36 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: 1 (0.37 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: -63.66%
23Mark as read.Guilty Pleasures (1993)
Laurell K. Hamilton
2.85
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 24 (2.35 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 2 (0.50 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
24Mark as read.Along Came a Spider (1993)
James Patterson
2.67
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 17 (2.05 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 3 (0.63 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
25Mark as read.Nobody's Fool (1993)
Richard Russo
2.61
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 8 (1.47 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 10 (1.14 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
26Mark as read.The Fourteen Sisters of Emilio Montez O'Brien (1993)
Oscar Hijuelos
2.44
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 8 (1.47 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 7 (0.97 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
27Mark as read.Shadow Play (1993)
Charles Baxter
2.17
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 3 (0.90 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 13 (1.28 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
28Mark as read.The Bird Artist (1993)
Howard Norman
2.04
Genre: Mixed Genre

Pulitzer Prize Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 1 (0.45 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 9 (1.09 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
29Mark as read.White Man's Grave (1993)
Richard Dooling
1.88
Genre: Novel

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 7 (1.38 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 0 (0.00 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
30Mark as read.Moses Supposes (1993)
Ellen Currie
1.23
Genre: Collection of Short Stories

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 0 (0.00 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 4 (0.73 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
31Mark as read.The Forms of Water (1993)
Andrea Barrett
1.20
Genre: Novel

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)
32Mark as read.Foxfire: Confessions of a Girl Gang (1993)
Joyce Carol Oates
1.09
Genre: Mixed Genre

Google Scholar: 0 (0.00 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 9 (1.09 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
33Mark as read.Elect Mr. Robinson For a Better World (1993)
Donald Antrim
1.08
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 1 (0.45 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 3 (0.63 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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