Kitty Ferguson
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UK: Bantam Transworld (November 2011)
UK Title: Stephen Hawking: His Life and Work

US: Palgrave Macmillan (January 2012)

Audio, unabridged: AudioGo, Ltd.

Foreign language editions: Italy (Rizzoli), Spain (Critica), Portugal (Leya), France (Flammarion), Greece (Papasotiriou), Brazil (Saraiva), Russia (Corpus-AST), Mainland China (Hunan Science & Technology), China Hong Kong, Taiwan (China Times). Others being negotiated.


This compelling new biography paints a rich picture of Stephen Hawking as a courageous, indomitable man, a brilliant scientist, sometime iconoclast, and international celebrity – whose life story should be a revelation for all who might be inclined to think that disability or illness must diminish a person. When Oliver Sacks spoke of “a kind of health, a strength and grace that go beyond the depths of any illness,” he could have been describing Stephen Hawking.

Written with Hawking’s encouragement and help, the book follows him from childhood through school, Oxford, graduate work at Cambridge when he was diagnosed with ALS and given two years to live, and onward in his pitched battle not merely for survival but for nothing less than a full scientific understanding of the universe. He celebrated his 75th birthday in January 2017.

Sub-chapters telling Hawking’s personal story alternate with others about his amazing theories, written in language understandable to non-scientists. The result is a moving, in-depth, definitive biography — and a wonderful read.

"I'm thrilled with your book on Stephen Hawking, which I am presently translating. It's a fantastic lesson in astrophysics. You truly make a very difficult subject to grasp into something clear, easy to understand, and exciting to read. The subject, your extraordinary main character - Stephen Hawking - and the crystal-clear way you write really make this book a page-turner, which I think is rare in this field. I feel privileged to translate it for the Portuguese public."
Manuel Cabral