464 pages, 32 plates with photos
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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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.