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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 1994

# Title Author Year Score
1Mark as read.The CrossingCormac McCarthy19948.96
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 124 (4.25 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 140 (3.09 points) | American Literature: 2 (0.83 points) | American Literary History: 1 (0.79 points)
2Mark as read.The Stone DiariesCarol Shields19948.20
Genre: Novel

Pulitzer Prize Winner (1.00 point) | Google Scholar: 165 (4.66 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 78 (2.54 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
3Mark as read.The Bingo PalaceLouise Erdrich19948.18
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 116 (4.15 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 94 (2.71 points) | American Literature: 1 (0.53 points) | American Literary History: 1 (0.79 points)
4Mark as read.In the Time of the ButterfliesJulia Alvarez19947.48
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 207 (5.02 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 71 (2.46 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
5Mark as read.Krik? Krak!Edwidge Danticat19946.92
Genre: Collection of Short Stories

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 108 (4.05 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 64 (2.37 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
6Mark as read.Green MarsKim Stanley Robinson19946.49
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 79 (3.64 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 43 (2.05 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 1 (0.79 points)
7Mark as read.Collected StoriesGrace Paley19946.36
Genre: Collection of Short Stories

Pulitzer Prize Finalist (0.50 points) | National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 43 (2.93 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 68 (2.42 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
8Mark as read.The House on the LagoonRosario Ferre19946.24
Genre: Novel

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 67 (3.44 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 29 (1.77 points) | American Literature: 1 (0.53 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
9Mark as read.Once Upon a TimeJohn Barth19946.22
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 28 (2.50 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 67 (2.41 points) | American Literature: 1 (0.53 points) | American Literary History: 1 (0.79 points)
10Mark as read.Breath, Eyes, MemoryEdwidge Danticat19946.19
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 64 (3.39 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 104 (2.80 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
11Mark as read.All Souls' RisingMadison Smartt Bell19946.13
Genre: Novel

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 34 (2.69 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 26 (1.70 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 2 (1.24 points)
12Mark as read.Face of an AngelDenise Chavez19945.97
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 71 (3.51 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 25 (1.67 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 1 (0.79 points)
13Mark as read.In the Lake of the WoodsTim O'Brien19945.88
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 91 (3.83 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 43 (2.05 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
14Mark as read.DisclosureMichael Crichton19945.67
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 73 (3.55 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 47 (2.12 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
15Mark as read.The WaterworksE. L. Doctorow19945.39
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 29 (2.53 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 23 (1.62 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 2 (1.24 points)
16Mark as read.Snow Falling on CedarsDavid Guterson19945.33
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 119 (4.19 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 10 (1.14 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
17Mark as read.Rite of PassageRichard Wright19945.33
Genre: Novella

Google Scholar: 13 (1.83 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 94 (2.71 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 1 (0.79 points)
18Mark as read.Black BettyWalter Mosley19945.30
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 25 (2.39 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 47 (2.12 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 1 (0.79 points)
19Mark as read.A Frolic of His OwnWilliam Gaddis19945.16
Genre: Novel

National Book Award Winner (1.00 point) | Google Scholar: 27 (2.46 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 26 (1.70 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
20Mark as read.What I Lived ForJoyce Carol Oates19944.97
Genre: Novel

Pulitzer Prize Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 7 (1.38 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 29 (1.77 points) | American Literature: 1 (0.53 points) | American Literary History: 1 (0.79 points)
21Mark as read.Mercy of a Rude StreamHenry Roth19944.96
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 18 (2.09 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 44 (2.07 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 1 (0.79 points)
22Mark as read.The Ice StormRick Moody19944.70
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 24 (2.35 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 21 (1.56 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 1 (0.79 points)
23Mark as read.The AlienistCaleb Carr19944.51
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 45 (2.98 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 4 (0.73 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 1 (0.79 points)
24Mark as read.Gunga Din HighwayFrank Chin19943.86
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 27 (2.46 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 16 (1.40 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
25Mark as read.Closing TimeJoseph Heller19943.84
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 21 (2.23 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 9 (1.09 points) | American Literature: 1 (0.53 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
26Mark as read.InterfaceNeal Stephenson19943.82
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 7 (1.38 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 24 (1.65 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 1 (0.79 points)
27Mark as read.Complete StoriesAlice Walker19943.66
Genre: Collection of Short Stories

Google Scholar: 6 (1.28 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 22 (1.59 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 1 (0.79 points)
28Mark as read.Mr. VertigoPaul Auster19943.63
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 10 (1.63 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 40 (2.00 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
29Mark as read.Stones from the RiverUrsula Hegi19943.62
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 26 (2.43 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 11 (1.19 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
30Mark as read.The End of the StoryLydia Davis19943.45
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 11 (1.70 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 28 (1.75 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
31Mark as read.Heavy WeatherBruce Sterling19943.21
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 25 (2.39 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 5 (0.82 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
32Mark as read.A Son of the CircusJohn Irving19942.91
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 15 (1.94 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 7 (0.97 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
33Mark as read.Coffee Will Make You BlackApril Sinclair19942.67
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 24 (2.35 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 1 (0.32 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
34Mark as read.The Palace ThiefEthan Canin19942.36
Genre: Collection of Short Stories

Google Scholar: 10 (1.63 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 4 (0.73 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
35Mark as read.The InformersBret Easton Ellis19942.18
Genre: Collection of Short Stories

Google Scholar: 9 (1.55 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 3 (0.63 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
36Mark as read.Clear and Present DangerPhillip Noyce19942.08
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 4 (1.05 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 8 (1.03 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
37Mark as read.Altmann's TongueBrian Evenson19941.91
Genre: Collection of Short Stories

Google Scholar: 5 (1.17 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 4 (0.73 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
38Mark as read.Pretty Boy FloydLarry McMurtry19941.72
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 3 (0.90 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 5 (0.82 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
39Mark as read.InterstateStephen Dixon19941.53
Genre: Novel

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 0 (0.00 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 8 (1.03 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
40Mark as read.Last Go RoundKen Kesey19940.73
Genre: Novel

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)
# Score
1Mark as read.The Crossing (1994)
Cormac McCarthy
8.96
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 124 (4.25 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 140 (3.09 points) | American Literature: 2 (0.83 points) | American Literary History: 1 (0.79 points)
2Mark as read.The Stone Diaries (1994)
Carol Shields
8.20
Genre: Novel

Pulitzer Prize Winner (1.00 point) | Google Scholar: 165 (4.66 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 78 (2.54 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
3Mark as read.The Bingo Palace (1994)
Louise Erdrich
8.18
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 116 (4.15 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 94 (2.71 points) | American Literature: 1 (0.53 points) | American Literary History: 1 (0.79 points)
4Mark as read.In the Time of the Butterflies (1994)
Julia Alvarez
7.48
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 207 (5.02 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 71 (2.46 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
5Mark as read.Krik? Krak! (1994)
Edwidge Danticat
6.92
Genre: Collection of Short Stories

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 108 (4.05 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 64 (2.37 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
6Mark as read.Green Mars (1994)
Kim Stanley Robinson
6.49
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 79 (3.64 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 43 (2.05 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 1 (0.79 points)
7Mark as read.Collected Stories (1994)
Grace Paley
6.36
Genre: Collection of Short Stories

Pulitzer Prize Finalist (0.50 points) | National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 43 (2.93 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 68 (2.42 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
8Mark as read.The House on the Lagoon (1994)
Rosario Ferre
6.24
Genre: Novel

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 67 (3.44 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 29 (1.77 points) | American Literature: 1 (0.53 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
9Mark as read.Once Upon a Time (1994)
John Barth
6.22
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 28 (2.50 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 67 (2.41 points) | American Literature: 1 (0.53 points) | American Literary History: 1 (0.79 points)
10Mark as read.Breath, Eyes, Memory (1994)
Edwidge Danticat
6.19
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 64 (3.39 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 104 (2.80 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
11Mark as read.All Souls' Rising (1994)
Madison Smartt Bell
6.13
Genre: Novel

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 34 (2.69 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 26 (1.70 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 2 (1.24 points)
12Mark as read.Face of an Angel (1994)
Denise Chavez
5.97
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 71 (3.51 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 25 (1.67 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 1 (0.79 points)
13Mark as read.In the Lake of the Woods (1994)
Tim O'Brien
5.88
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 91 (3.83 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 43 (2.05 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
14Mark as read.Disclosure (1994)
Michael Crichton
5.67
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 73 (3.55 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 47 (2.12 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
15Mark as read.The Waterworks (1994)
E. L. Doctorow
5.39
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 29 (2.53 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 23 (1.62 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 2 (1.24 points)
16Mark as read.Snow Falling on Cedars (1994)
David Guterson
5.33
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 119 (4.19 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 10 (1.14 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
17Mark as read.Rite of Passage (1994)
Richard Wright
5.33
Genre: Novella

Google Scholar: 13 (1.83 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 94 (2.71 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 1 (0.79 points)
18Mark as read.Black Betty (1994)
Walter Mosley
5.30
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 25 (2.39 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 47 (2.12 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 1 (0.79 points)
19Mark as read.A Frolic of His Own (1994)
William Gaddis
5.16
Genre: Novel

National Book Award Winner (1.00 point) | Google Scholar: 27 (2.46 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 26 (1.70 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
20Mark as read.What I Lived For (1994)
Joyce Carol Oates
4.97
Genre: Novel

Pulitzer Prize Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 7 (1.38 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 29 (1.77 points) | American Literature: 1 (0.53 points) | American Literary History: 1 (0.79 points)
21Mark as read.Mercy of a Rude Stream (1994)
Henry Roth
4.96
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 18 (2.09 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 44 (2.07 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 1 (0.79 points)
22Mark as read.The Ice Storm (1994)
Rick Moody
4.70
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 24 (2.35 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 21 (1.56 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 1 (0.79 points)
23Mark as read.The Alienist (1994)
Caleb Carr
4.51
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 45 (2.98 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 4 (0.73 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 1 (0.79 points)
24Mark as read.Gunga Din Highway (1994)
Frank Chin
3.86
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 27 (2.46 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 16 (1.40 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
25Mark as read.Closing Time (1994)
Joseph Heller
3.84
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 21 (2.23 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 9 (1.09 points) | American Literature: 1 (0.53 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
26Mark as read.Interface (1994)
Neal Stephenson
3.82
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 7 (1.38 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 24 (1.65 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 1 (0.79 points)
27Mark as read.Complete Stories (1994)
Alice Walker
3.66
Genre: Collection of Short Stories

Google Scholar: 6 (1.28 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 22 (1.59 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 1 (0.79 points)
28Mark as read.Mr. Vertigo (1994)
Paul Auster
3.63
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 10 (1.63 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 40 (2.00 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
29Mark as read.Stones from the River (1994)
Ursula Hegi
3.62
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 26 (2.43 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 11 (1.19 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
30Mark as read.The End of the Story (1994)
Lydia Davis
3.45
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 11 (1.70 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 28 (1.75 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
31Mark as read.Heavy Weather (1994)
Bruce Sterling
3.21
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 25 (2.39 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 5 (0.82 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
32Mark as read.A Son of the Circus (1994)
John Irving
2.91
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 15 (1.94 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 7 (0.97 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
33Mark as read.Coffee Will Make You Black (1994)
April Sinclair
2.67
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 24 (2.35 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 1 (0.32 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
34Mark as read.The Palace Thief (1994)
Ethan Canin
2.36
Genre: Collection of Short Stories

Google Scholar: 10 (1.63 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 4 (0.73 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
35Mark as read.The Informers (1994)
Bret Easton Ellis
2.18
Genre: Collection of Short Stories

Google Scholar: 9 (1.55 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 3 (0.63 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
36Mark as read.Clear and Present Danger (1994)
Phillip Noyce
2.08
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 4 (1.05 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 8 (1.03 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
37Mark as read.Altmann's Tongue (1994)
Brian Evenson
1.91
Genre: Collection of Short Stories

Google Scholar: 5 (1.17 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 4 (0.73 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
38Mark as read.Pretty Boy Floyd (1994)
Larry McMurtry
1.72
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 3 (0.90 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 5 (0.82 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
39Mark as read.Interstate (1994)
Stephen Dixon
1.53
Genre: Novel

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 0 (0.00 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 8 (1.03 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
40Mark as read.Last Go Round (1994)
Ken Kesey
0.73
Genre: Novel

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)

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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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