On the heels of John Guare's biography for adult readers, Chuck Close: Life and Work 1988-1995 (1995)--which covers Close's work since 1988, when a collapsed spinal artery left Close paralyzed below the shoulders--comes a biography from Greenberg and Jordan (The American Eye, 1995, etc.) that profiles the artist's entire life. As a child, art rescued Close from the frustrations of learning disabilities that made school a struggle; he developed ""painstaking discipline"" that helped him paint later in life, even when physical disabilities threatened to end his career. As in their other collaborations, the authors meld the artist's biography with their readings of his art. Close's feelings for his friends are conveyed through his gargantuan portraits of them and his multiple interpretations of their photographs. Full-color illustrations show both finished works, and the processes through which they are made, including scenes of Close on the forklift he uses to move around the canvas. In closing with a chapter on the history of portraiture that compares Close's works to those of other painters, the volume captures both the originality of Close's artwork, and the steady gifts of its creator.