Review by: Craig Amason, Andalusia, Home of Flannery O’Connor - September 16, 2011
Jolly Kay Sharp keenly examines how O’Connor shifts her perspective according to influences,
relationships, and her personal journey. O’Connor’s maturation as an artist is thoughtfully
considered as Sharp reveals the depth and complexity of this great writer’s craft.
Review by: Marshall Bruce Gentry, Professor of English, GC&SU and Editor of the Flannery O’Connor Review - July 29, 2011
Flannery O'Connor is a mystery, and Jolly Kay Sharp clearly demonstrates that there are many Flannery O'Connors. For all her firmly held convictions, O'Connor displays different selves through-while also hiding behind-a variety of such grotesque alter egos as Enoch Emery, Rufus Johnson, and Hulga/Joy Hopewell. Sharp entertainingly reveals O'Connor to be more religious, more southern, more intellectual and individualistic than O'Connor wanted us, at least at first, to realize.
Review by: Tom Frazier, Professor of English, Department Chair of English & Foreign Languages, University of the Cumberlands - July 29, 2011
Every reader of Flannery O'Connor has an opinion about her work. In “Between the House and the Chicken Yard”: The Masks of Mary Flannery O'Connor, Jolly Sharp takes the reader behind the Jungian masks O'Connor freely but intentionally uses with such personalities as Hulga and Haze among others. Each masked character clarifies a personality trait O'Connor brings to each page. With Sharp's study in hand, every O'Connor reader will go behind O'Connor's many masks and see who she really was.
Review by: Will Brantley, Middle Tennessee State University - July 28, 2011
Scholars have focused on the ways in which Flannery O'Connor was mentored by Caroline Gordon and other writers, but Jolly Sharp is the first to give sustained attention to the ways in which O'Connor herself took on the role of mentor. Drawing from a wealth of previously unpublished materials, Sharp deftly explores the many masks that O'Connor appropriated in her letters and essays-and in the more famous fiction that has made her one of the nation's most celebrated writers.