Close graduated from the University of California, Berkeley with BA in 1964. She worked as the China editor in Hong Kong for the Far Eastern Economic Review. She founded the Oakland-based Flatlands newspaper.
Close was the co-producer of Breathing Lessons: The Life and Work of Mark O'Brien.
She was married to the historian and Asian affairs scholar Franz Schurmann from 1968 until his death in 2010.
- "Ben Hur" Vs. "Titanic" -- Nature Replaced God in Film That Speaks to Environmental Age, JINN, 03-26-98
- "Fear and uncertainty in the era of change", National Civic Review, Volume 98 Issue 3, Pages 46 – 47