This is the first book to tell the inspiring story of near tragedy and ultimate triumph behind the dazzling work of one of today's most respected and best-loved artists. Chuck Close is one of the most acclaimed American artists to emerge since Andy Warhol. His larger-than-life portraits look out from the walls of museums and galleries around the globe. His virtuosity and variety of technique, combined with the ambition and accessibility of his chosen subject matter the portrait re-invented on a heroic scale has made him a great favorite with the public and has won him the respect of his peers. Chuck Close has achieved fame, yet his full story has never been told until now. Author Christopher Finch has known Close since the late 1960s when the artist was creating his first masterpieces in an unheated SoHo loft. Finch chronicles Close's childhood battles with illness and dyslexia and his rise to the pinnacle of the art world. At the age of 48 he was struck down by an occluded spinal artery that left him a partial quadriplegic. With extraordinary determination, Close overcame this potentially career-ending disability, not only learning to paint again but producing work of extraordinary richness that equals or surpasses his previous achievements. With style and authority, Finch reveals the human reality behind Close's visually eloquent but eternally silent portraits.