Stephen Hawking is one of the most remarkable figures of our time - a Cambridge genius who has earned international celebrity and become an inspiration to those who have witnessed his triumph over disability. This is Hawking's life story by Kitty Ferguson, written with help from Hawking himself and his close associates.
Updated and substantially expanded from her earlier book of 1992, this carefully researched, up to the minute biography gives a rich picture of Hawking's life - his childhood, the heartrending beginning of his struggle with motor neurone disease, his ever-increasing international fame, and his long personal battle for survival in pursuit of a scientific understanding of the universe. Throughout Kitty Ferguson also summarizes and explains the cutting-edge science in which Hawking has been engaged.
Stephen Hawking is written with the clarity and simplicity for which all Kitty Ferguson's books have been praised. The result is a captivating account of an extraordinary life and mind.
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Intelligent and readable... Kitty Ferguson is astonishing in her own right.... She is a careful explicator not only of [Hawkings'] ideas but of the context in which they arose. - The Los Angeles Times
Ferguson provides engaging and helpful explanations of the physics behind [Hawking's] triumphs. - The Washington Post
Fascinating...Ferguson's sympathetic and informed take on an individual who has enriched human knowledge against the odds, is an excellent summing up of (Hawking's) unique and creative contribution to both science and humanity. - Nature
Ferguson captures the very full life and work of one of the most vibrant minds of our time. - Publishers Weekly
Fascinating - Observer
The reader is drawn on by some of the best scientific definitions, analogies, simple explanations and downright interesting writing I have ever seen - Evening Standard
Ferguson deftly conveys an exciting sense of both Stephen Hawking himself and his pre-eminent role in modern-day theoretical physics ... A fine introduction to Hawking's own A Brief History of Time - Booklist
Proximity gives Ferguson privileged access to Hawking’s private world, and her scientific fluency enables her to weave a biography that moves seamlessly between his intellectual and personal development. Ferguson is adept at making his complex theories accessible to non-experts. Beyond explaining his scientific achievements, she brings us closer to the man, [and] ultimately, the most astonishing aspect of Ferguson’s Hawking is not his otherness, but the extraordinary things that one determined individual can accomplish once he realizes that “life is worth living”. - The Montreal Gazette
Kitty Ferguson gives a thorough account of Hawking the man, as well as of his extraordinary body of work in cosmology. The human elements are beautifully told, and there’s the very real feeling not just that Ferguson knows Hawking well and has done for a long time, but that she genuinely cares for him and his family. The overriding sense is that Kitty Ferguson has endeavoured to understand the great scientist as a human being, and has directed her warm but by no means gushing biography at similarly interested lay readers who also harbour an interest in the fundamental questions that have gone some way to being answered by Stephen Hawking. - Entertainment Focus
Ferguson shines at explaining Hawking’s theories, the jovially competitive academic world in which they are hammered out and her subject’s distinctive and evolving intellectual style… An irresistible story. His puckish humor and exuberance for life and for ideas are infectious even at a remove. And the ideas themselves could not ask for a better elucidator, not even, dare I say it, Hawking himself. Giving the rest of us a glimmer of the wonders swirling inside his head is no small feat, and may be the truest portrait of all. - Salon
Ferguson gives a lucid account of his important work on black holes and stays quite intelligible even when discussing his ideas about the overall shape of space-time. - The Telegraph
Kitty Ferguson Stephen Hawking: His Life and Work is a really fascinating book, brilliantly written, a lively page-turner. Lovely explanations of the science. - Richard Bacon, BBC Radio 5
Kitty Ferguson was born in San Antonio, Texas. She studied at the Juilliard School of Music in New York and was for many years a successful professional musician, conducting and performing oratorio, early music and chamber music. In 1986 she moved to England where her husband was a Visiting Fellow and later Life Member of Clare Hall, Cambridge University. During this and many subsequent periods of residence at Cambridge, Kitty Ferguson audited graduated lectures and seminars in the Department of Applied Maths and Theoretical Physics and got to know some of the legendary figures in those fields, including Stephen Hawking. In 1987 she retired from music to devote herself full time to writing about science.