. . . is the subject of a biography by former Beijing correspondent Uli Franz, published in 1988 and just re-released by Harcourt Brace Jovanovich ($21.95). Times reviewer Orville Schell noted the difficulty of biography in a country of closed archives. The documentary shortcomings of Franz's work are thus real, he concluded, and yet: "(The biography) is not likely to be improved upon soon, unless Deng himself suddenly steps out of that long tradition of secretive leaders and unburdens himself to the world for posterity or until that unforeseeable time in the future when the archives in Beijing are finally opened."