maincurve UC Library MyUC iLearn Webmail Home
title Media Relations Home



UC Professor's Book Released This Month


Williamsburg, Ky. - University of the Cumberlands’ (UC) Professor of English Dr. Jolly Sharp will see her book, “Between the House and the Chicken Yard:” The Masks of Flannery O’Connor, published in October 2011 by Mercer University Press.

Georgia novelist and short story writer Flannery O’Connor is considered a master of modern American literature but remains an enigma to many because she donned multiple masks, concealing or revealing segments of herself as she wished. Her personal masks were fashioned by her Southern and Catholic roots while her literary masks were fashioned by O’Connor’s imagination and artistry.

Sharp investigates O’Connor’s masks which served as metaphorical embodiments of a veiled autobiography. Sharp’s investigation utilized both published works by and about O’Connor as well as unpublished letters, some only recently made available to scholars.

Sharp’s investigation has grown out of a long interest in O’Connor resulting from graduate studies in English at Wright State University and Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU). At MTSU, Sharp wrote her PhD dissertation on O’Connor’s masks. Sharp’s work has lead to her being invited to speak on O’Connor at meetings of such scholarly organizations as American Studies Association of the South, the national American Culture Association and the recent O’Connor conference at her undergraduate alma mater and in her hometown, Georgia State College and State University in Milledgeville, Georgia.

Sharp, a native of Williamsburg, Kentucky, holds English degrees from Cumberland College, Wright State University and Middle Tennessee State University. She has been a member of the University of the Cumberlands Department of English for twenty years and regularly teaches courses focused upon the works of Flannery O’Connor.

Located in Williamsburg, KY, University of the Cumberlands is an institution of regional distinction, which currently offers four undergraduate degrees in more than 40 major fields of study; nine pre-professional programs; seven graduate degrees, including a doctorate and six master’s degrees; certifications in education; and online programs.