This post is also available in: العربية

Roger Tagholm


The Lebanese publishing house Dar Al Tanweer, which has offices in Beiruit, Tunis and Cairo, has acquired Arabic rights of the last book by the world’s famous British physicist Stephen Hawking who died earlier this year.

Entitled Brief Answers to the Big Questions, it is the book Hawking was working on before he died.  Described as a selection of his most profound, accessible, and timely reflections from his personal archive, it covers his discoveries and perspectives on “everything from the creation of the universe, black holes, alien intelligence, and the existence of God to the importance of space colonisation, and the perils and promise of artificial intelligence”.

A percentage of the royalties will go the Motor Neuron Disease Association and the Stephen Hawking Foundation.  At the age of 20 Hawking was diagnosed with Motor Neuron Disease and was given two years to live. While confined to a wheelchair and eventually forced to speak through a voice synthesizer, he defied the prognosis, dying at the age of 76 on 14 March.

UK and Commonwealth Rights to Brief Answers are being handled by Robert Kirby of United Agents in London.  John Murray will publish in the UK.  In the US, Hawking’s long-time publisher Bantam will publish, with the deal handled by Doug Abrams of Idea Architects, on behalf of United Agents.

Known for his work in cosmology and theoretical physics, Hawking’s most famous book A Brief History of Time, published in 1988, has sold more than 13m copies worldwide.  Dar Al Tanweer published A Brief History of Time and The Grand Design, and has also just acquired My Brief History – Hawking’s memoirs – and The Universe in a Nutshell.

Kirby said: “The idea for Brief Answers rose out of the thousands of requests Professor Hawking received from people from all over the world for answers to the big questions of our time.  With his characteristic wit and brilliant mind he began writing and collating his responses and I’m delighted his Estate has agreed to support publication of Brief Answers to the Big Questions, the last book he was working on before he died.”