27 September, 2023



September 24, 2023, Cairo – The American University in Cairo Press (AUC Press) announces the

release of the captivating and thought-provoking book, "A Surgeon and a Maverick: The Life and

Pioneering Work of Magdi Yacoub." In this first authorized biography of heart surgeon Sir Magdi

Yacoub, veteran journalists Simon Pearson and Fiona Gorman follow his remarkable life, from his

formative years in Egypt, through spectacular success at Cairo University, to his long and

distinguished career in Britain, leading up to his knighthood in 1992, and his 2014 awarding of the

highest honor in the gift of the Queen, the Order of Merit.

A visionary and trailblazer, Yacoub revolutionized the treatment of children’s congenital heart

disease forty years ago through innovation, dedication, and a fearless approach to challenges. In

1983, he performed the UK's first combined heart and lung transplant at Harefield Hospital. Among

his patients are men and women who are still thriving more than thirty-five years after he gave

them new hope.

The book includes captivating, vivid storytelling, rich anecdotes, and behind-the-scenes accounts

that bring to life the challenges and triumphs faced by this living legend. Authors, Pearson and

Gorman, commented on the writing process, saying, “We ended up spending a lot of time with

Prof,” as Yacoub is often called. “We also conducted forty-odd additional interviews with patients,

colleagues, key members of his team, friends, and families he’d helped. It was such a privilege to

hear these stories and to have the opportunity to learn firsthand the impact Yacoub has had on

people’s lives and on their children’s lives.”

"We are incredibly proud to publish A Surgeon and a Maverick, said Veerle De Laet, AUC Press

executive director. “This book is a testament to the power of human determination and the

profound impact one individual can have on society.” “Magdi Yacoub’s extraordinary life story is

one that richly deserves to be told,” added Nadia Naqib, director of acquisitions, who supervised

the book project. “It gives fascinating insight into the world of scientific research and is a source of

inspiration and hope for readers of all backgrounds."

Yacoub's story is one of perseverance and determination, and such successes were not

straightforward. As an outsider who succeeded against the odds, he at times clashed with the

medical establishment in London, and his techniques pushed the boundaries of discourse in

medical ethics.

A Surgeon and a Maverick is now available for purchase in Egypt through AUC Bookstores and

soon in other local bookstores. For more information about the book: visit aucpress.com

The American University in Cairo Press (AUC Press) is the leading academic publisher of English-

language books in the Middle East. With a rich history spanning more than 60 years, AUC Press is

committed to publishing high-quality works that explore the diverse cultures, histories, and ideas of

the region. AUC Press publishes around 50 new titles annually and has a backlist of more than

800 titles that are sold and distributed globally.

About the Authors:

Simon Pearson and Fiona Gorman are a husband-and-wife team of author-editors who worked

for The Times newspaper in London for more than thirty years. A former executive editor at The

Times, Simon is the author of three books, including the bestselling biography The Great Escaper.

Fiona has written on a range of subjects, including mental health, and Simon contributes obituaries

for The Times. They live in London.

Mary Archer is a British scientist specializing in solar power conversion. In 2012 she was

appointed Dame Commander of the British Empire (DBE) for her services to the National Health


For more information about the university news and events follow us on Facebook

http://www.facebook.com/aucegypt and Twitter @AUC

Founded in 1919, The American University in Cairo (AUC) is a leading English-language, American-

accredited institution of higher education and center of the intellectual, social, and cultural life of the Arab

world. It is a vital bridge between East and West, linking Egypt and the region to the world through scholarly

research, partnerships with academic and research institutions and study abroad programs.

The University offers 39 undergraduate, 52 master’s and two PhD programs rooted in a liberal arts education

that encourages students to think critically and find creative solutions to conflicts and challenges facing both

the region and the world.

An independent, nonprofit, politically non-partisan, non-sectarian and equal opportunity institution, AUC is

fully accredited in Egypt and the United States.