Bodies and Souls is the long-awaited publication of Frank Cordelle's The Century Project. Although numerous books present womanhood in picture and word (Laurie Toby Edison's Women En Large and Wise Women by Joyce Tenneson come to mind), Bodies and Souls is perhaps the most successful to date in giving you a strong sense of who the women (from birth to age 94 so far) are and the pain and joys they've experienced.
Each entry consists of a nude photograph of a brave female and her personal statement in the form of prose, poetry, or both. In some cases, Cordelle provides the text or supplements it with his own observations. Many of the participants share their pain and joys. You will find the insecure, the joyful (a pregnant mother stands out here), cutters, cancer survivors, rape and abuse survivors, and many others from various races and walks of life. The pictures are certainly worth more than a thousand words, and the personal statements provide important context for the scars, tears, smiles, and sometimes amusing facial expressions and body language seen therein. Some of their comments and advice for living are priceless. Cordelle has done a remarkable job of opening a window into these inspiring women's souls.
I highly recommend this book to anyone (female or male) concerned with issues of self image and body image. This should prove an invaluable resource to counselors and those struggling to regain footing after a physical or emotional trial.