Award-winning journalist Jack Ford will visit Barr Memorial Library May 22 at noon as part of the Authors at Your Library program.

During the visit, Ford will discuss and sign copies of his latest novel, Chariot on the Mountain, based on historical events. After her husband Samuel dies, Mary Maddox grants Samuel's natural-born daughter Kitty and her three children their freedom. But Kitty's freedom does not last; she is taken back to Virginia by slave-catchers under the orders of Samuel Maddox's nephew. Kitty takes the extraordinary and unprecedented step of suing for kidnapping and assault. Mary and wealthy socialite Fanny Withers join her to attempt defying the odds in a sensational trial for Kitty's freedom almost two decades before the Civil War.

Ford stumbled across a plaque commemorating Kitty's case while wandering the lawn of an 1830s courthouse in Virginia. Intrigued by a case he had never heard of, Ford began to investigate. Using handwritten court records, newspaper accounts, letters and descendants' recollections, he discovered the story that became the subject of his novel.

Ford is a former trial lawyer who has become a prominent legal journalist, appearing on Court TV, ABC, CBS and NBC. He has received two Emmy awards, a Peabody Award, an American Radio and Television award, a National Headliner award, and the March of Dimes FDR award. Ford is a visiting lecturer at Yale, New York University and the University of Virginia, and he teaches a seminar on famous trials.

The event is free and open to the public.

For more information, contact Barr Memorial Library at (502) 624-1232 or visit the website www.barrlibrary.org (see below).