Erik Fredner and J.D. Porter’s article “Counting on the Norton Anthology of American Literature” emerged from a project begun in the Literary Lab, and made possible by its resources and the contributions of its members to the database.

You can read the article here. [LINK TO HOSTED ARTICLE.]

And you can review the calculations for figures cited in the article here.

Analyzing the every editorial decision made in the NAAL‘s tables of contents over its first 10 editions (1979-2022), Fredner and Porter identify, among other things, 103 authors that have been selected and re-selected for every edition of the NAAL. This finding anchors their argument that the editorial history of the NAAL reveals an editorial preference for a strategy of growth rather than one of redistribution.

Those interested in further discussing the data should email the authors.

The Norton 103

Below you will find the members of the Norton 103 organized by the year of their birth. Author identities are represented as they are in Norton’s tables of contents. Following Norton’s editors, we treat the authors of the Federalist Papers as a single author.

Author Birth Year
John Winthrop 1588
William Bradford 1590
Anne Bradstreet 1612
Mary Rowlandson 1636
Edward Taylor 1642
Cotton Mather 1663
Sarah Kemble Knight 1666
William Byrd 1674
Jonathan Edwards 1703
Benjamin Franklin 1706
John Woolman 1720
J. Hector St. John de Crèvecœur 1735
Thomas Paine 1737
Thomas Jefferson 1743
Alexander Hamilton, John Jay,  and James Madison 1745*
Philip Freneau 1752
Phillis Wheatley 1753
Washington Irving 1783
James Fenimore Cooper 1789
William Cullen Bryant 1794
Ralph Waldo Emerson 1803
Nathaniel Hawthorne 1804
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow 1807
John Greenleaf Whittier 1807
Edgar Allan Poe 1809
Abraham Lincoln 1809
Margaret Fuller 1810
Harriet Beecher Stowe 1811
Henry David Thoreau 1817
Frederick Douglass 1818
Walt Whitman 1819
Herman Melville 1819
Emily Dickinson 1830
Mark Twain (Samuel L. Clemens) 1835
Bret Harte 1836
Henry Adams 1838
Ambrose Bierce 1842
Henry James 1843
Joel Chandler Harris 1848
Sarah Orne Jewett 1849
Kate Chopin 1850
Mary E. Wilkins Freeman 1852
Booker T. Washington 1856
Charles W. Chesnutt 1858
Hamlin Garland 1860
Edith Wharton 1862
W.E.B. Du Bois 1868
Edwin Arlington Robinson 1869
Theodore Dreiser 1871
Stephen Crane 1871
Willa Cather 1873
Gertrude Stein 1874
Robert Frost 1874
Sherwood Anderson 1876
Jack London 1876
Carl Sandburg 1878
Wallace Stevens 1879
William Carlos Williams 1883
Ezra Pound 1885
H.D. (Hilda Doolittle) 1886
Marianne Moore 1887
T. S. Eliot 1888
Katherine Anne Porter 1890
Edna St. Vincent Millay 1892
E.E. Cummings 1894
Jean Toomer 1894
F. Scott Fitzgerald 1896
John Dos Passos 1896
William Faulkner 1897
Hart Crane 1899
Ernest Hemingway 1899
John Steinbeck 1902
Langston Hughes 1902
Countee Cullen 1903
Theodore Roethke 1908
Richard Wright 1908
Eudora Welty 1909
Charles Olson 1910
Elizabeth Bishop 1911
Ralph Ellison 1913
John Berryman 1914
Randall Jarrell 1914
Saul Bellow 1915
Gwendolyn Brooks 1917
Robert Lowell 1917
Richard Wilbur 1921
Denise Levertov 1923
James Baldwin 1924
Flannery O’Connor 1925
A.R. Ammons 1926
James Merrill 1926
Frank O’Hara 1926
Allen Ginsberg 1926
W.S. Merwin 1927
James Wright 1927
John Ashbery 1927
Anne Sexton 1928
Adrienne Rich 1929
Gary Snyder 1930
Sylvia Plath 1932
John Updike 1932
Philip Roth 1933
Imamu Amiri Baraka (Leroi Jones) 1934

*Jay’s birth date, the earliest of the three authors of The Federalist Papers.