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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
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1800 - Present
New York Times Archive

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AMERICAN FICTION 2001

# Title Author Year Score
1Mark as read.The CorrectionsJonathan Franzen200112.03
Genre: Novel

Pulitzer Prize Finalist (0.50 points) | National Book Award Winner (1.00 point) | Google Scholar: 196 (4.93 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 98 (2.75 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 10 (2.85 points)
2Mark as read.The Wind Done GoneAlice Randall20016.83
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 82 (3.69 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 62 (2.34 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 1 (0.79 points)
3Mark as read.The Body ArtistDon DeLillo20016.15
Genre: Novella

Google Scholar: 117 (4.16 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 39 (1.98 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
4Mark as read.John Henry DaysColson Whitehead20016.01
Genre: Novel

Pulitzer Prize Winner (1.00 point) | Google Scholar: 33 (2.66 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 21 (1.56 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 1 (0.79 points)
5Mark as read.The Bonesetter's DaughterAmy Tan20015.39
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 140 (4.42 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 7 (0.97 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
6Mark as read.The Last Report on the Miracle at Little No HorseLouise Erdrich20015.35
Genre: Novel

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 113 (4.12 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 4 (0.73 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
7Mark as read.Four SoulsLouise Erdrich20014.45
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 37 (2.78 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 25 (1.67 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
8Mark as read.American WomanSusan Choi20014.36
Genre: Novel

Pulitzer Prize Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 16 (2.00 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 3 (0.63 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 2 (1.24 points)
9Mark as read.Empire FallsRichard Russo20014.36
Genre: Novel

Pulitzer Prize Winner (1.00 point) | Google Scholar: 22 (2.27 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 9 (1.09 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
10Mark as read.The Lecturer's TaleJames Hynes20014.35
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 39 (2.83 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 4 (0.73 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 1 (0.79 points)
11Mark as read.Look At MeJennifer Egan20013.40
Genre: Novel

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 6 (1.28 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 5 (0.82 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 1 (0.79 points)
12Mark as read.A Multitude of SinsRichard Ford20013.13
Genre: Collection of Short Stories

Google Scholar: 17 (2.05 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 9 (1.09 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
13Mark as read.Mystic RiverDennis Lehane20013.08
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 24 (2.35 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 4 (0.73 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
14Mark as read.Deception PointDan Brown20012.98
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 24 (2.35 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 3 (0.63 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
15Mark as read.Back When We Were GrownupsAnne Tyler20012.72
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 18 (2.09 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 3 (0.63 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
16Mark as read.This Is Not a NovelDavid Markson20012.67
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 15 (1.94 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 4 (0.73 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
17Mark as read.Among the MissingDan Chaon20012.49
Genre: Collection of Short Stories

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 5 (1.17 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 5 (0.82 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
18Mark as read.Hotel HonoluluPaul Theroux20012.43
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 11 (1.70 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 4 (0.73 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
19Mark as read.Pafko at the WalllaDon DeLillo20012.43
Genre: Novella

Google Scholar: 26 (2.43 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 0 (0.00 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
20Mark as read.Skipping ChristmasJohn Grisham20012.20
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 11 (1.70 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 2 (0.50 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
21Mark as read.Black HouseStephen King20012.11
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 7 (1.38 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 4 (0.73 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
22Mark as read.DreamcatcherStephen King20012.10
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 8 (1.47 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 3 (0.63 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
23Mark as read.Good FaithJane Smiley20012.07
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 5 (1.17 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 6 (0.90 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
24Mark as read.The Fourth HandJohn Irving20011.95
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 10 (1.63 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.Falling AngelsTracy Chevalier20011.94
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 15 (1.94 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 0 (0.00 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
26Mark as read.Bel CantoAnn Patchett20011.74
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 2 (0.71 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 8 (1.03 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
27Mark as read.ArgallWilliam Vollmann20011.60
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 6 (1.28 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 1 (0.32 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
28Mark as read.Carter Beats the DevilGlen David Gold20011.38
Genre: Novel

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)
29Mark as read.Kissing in ManhattanDavid Schickler20011.36
Genre: Collection of Short Stories

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)
30Mark as read.Ella Minnow Pea in LettersMark Dunn20011.05
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 4 (1.05 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 0 (0.00 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
31Mark as read.Lake Wobegon Summer 1956Garrison Keillor20010.95
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 1 (0.45 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.Love MeGarrison Keillor20010.73
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)
33Mark as read.Lightning FieldDana Spiotta20010.71
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 2 (0.71 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 0 (0.00 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
34Mark as read.Highwire MoonSusan Straight20010.50
Genre: Novel

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.The Corrections (2001)
Jonathan Franzen
12.03
Genre: Novel

Pulitzer Prize Finalist (0.50 points) | National Book Award Winner (1.00 point) | Google Scholar: 196 (4.93 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 98 (2.75 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 10 (2.85 points)
2Mark as read.The Wind Done Gone (2001)
Alice Randall
6.83
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 82 (3.69 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 62 (2.34 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 1 (0.79 points)
3Mark as read.The Body Artist (2001)
Don DeLillo
6.15
Genre: Novella

Google Scholar: 117 (4.16 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 39 (1.98 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
4Mark as read.John Henry Days (2001)
Colson Whitehead
6.01
Genre: Novel

Pulitzer Prize Winner (1.00 point) | Google Scholar: 33 (2.66 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 21 (1.56 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 1 (0.79 points)
5Mark as read.The Bonesetter's Daughter (2001)
Amy Tan
5.39
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 140 (4.42 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 7 (0.97 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
6Mark as read.The Last Report on the Miracle at Little No Horse (2001)
Louise Erdrich
5.35
Genre: Novel

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 113 (4.12 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 4 (0.73 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
7Mark as read.Four Souls (2001)
Louise Erdrich
4.45
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 37 (2.78 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 25 (1.67 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
8Mark as read.American Woman (2001)
Susan Choi
4.36
Genre: Novel

Pulitzer Prize Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 16 (2.00 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 3 (0.63 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 2 (1.24 points)
9Mark as read.Empire Falls (2001)
Richard Russo
4.36
Genre: Novel

Pulitzer Prize Winner (1.00 point) | Google Scholar: 22 (2.27 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 9 (1.09 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
10Mark as read.The Lecturer's Tale (2001)
James Hynes
4.35
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 39 (2.83 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 4 (0.73 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 1 (0.79 points)
11Mark as read.Look At Me (2001)
Jennifer Egan
3.40
Genre: Novel

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 6 (1.28 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 5 (0.82 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 1 (0.79 points)
12Mark as read.A Multitude of Sins (2001)
Richard Ford
3.13
Genre: Collection of Short Stories

Google Scholar: 17 (2.05 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 9 (1.09 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
13Mark as read.Mystic River (2001)
Dennis Lehane
3.08
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 24 (2.35 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 4 (0.73 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
14Mark as read.Deception Point (2001)
Dan Brown
2.98
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 24 (2.35 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 3 (0.63 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
15Mark as read.Back When We Were Grownups (2001)
Anne Tyler
2.72
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 18 (2.09 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 3 (0.63 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
16Mark as read.This Is Not a Novel (2001)
David Markson
2.67
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 15 (1.94 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 4 (0.73 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
17Mark as read.Among the Missing (2001)
Dan Chaon
2.49
Genre: Collection of Short Stories

National Book Award Finalist (0.50 points) | Google Scholar: 5 (1.17 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 5 (0.82 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
18Mark as read.Hotel Honolulu (2001)
Paul Theroux
2.43
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 11 (1.70 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 4 (0.73 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
19Mark as read.Pafko at the Wallla (2001)
Don DeLillo
2.43
Genre: Novella

Google Scholar: 26 (2.43 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 0 (0.00 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
20Mark as read.Skipping Christmas (2001)
John Grisham
2.20
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 11 (1.70 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 2 (0.50 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
21Mark as read.Black House (2001)
Stephen King
2.11
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 7 (1.38 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 4 (0.73 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
22Mark as read.Dreamcatcher (2001)
Stephen King
2.10
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 8 (1.47 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 3 (0.63 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
23Mark as read.Good Faith (2001)
Jane Smiley
2.07
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 5 (1.17 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 6 (0.90 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
24Mark as read.The Fourth Hand (2001)
John Irving
1.95
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 10 (1.63 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.Falling Angels (2001)
Tracy Chevalier
1.94
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 15 (1.94 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 0 (0.00 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
26Mark as read.Bel Canto (2001)
Ann Patchett
1.74
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 2 (0.71 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 8 (1.03 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
27Mark as read.Argall (2001)
William Vollmann
1.60
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 6 (1.28 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 1 (0.32 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
28Mark as read.Carter Beats the Devil (2001)
Glen David Gold
1.38
Genre: Novel

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)
29Mark as read.Kissing in Manhattan (2001)
David Schickler
1.36
Genre: Collection of Short Stories

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)
30Mark as read.Ella Minnow Pea in Letters (2001)
Mark Dunn
1.05
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 4 (1.05 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 0 (0.00 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
31Mark as read.Lake Wobegon Summer 1956 (2001)
Garrison Keillor
0.95
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 1 (0.45 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.Love Me (2001)
Garrison Keillor
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)
33Mark as read.Lightning Field (2001)
Dana Spiotta
0.71
Genre: Novel

Google Scholar: 2 (0.71 points) | JSTOR (Language and Literature): 0 (0.00 points) | American Literature: 0 (0.00 points) | American Literary History: 0 (0.00 points)
34Mark as read.Highwire Moon (2001)
Susan Straight
0.50
Genre: Novel

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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