About The Book

“I have to say that the women with whom I’ve laughed and cried, and whose portraits appear in this book, have left me feeling incredibly proud to be a woman. I am in awe of every single one of them.” – Jean Karotkin

Rich in visual and emotional content, this collection is a celebration of body, soul and spirit. It is a tribute to the willpower and inner radiance of women who have met the physical and psychological challenges of breast cancer.

The courageous women depicted in Body & Soul are collectively united in the sisterhood of breast cancer. Yet each woman’s experience – and the effect cancer has had on her life – is utterly unique. For some women, cancer threatened hard-won happiness. For others, it provided an opportunity to reinvent themselves.

Reinvention was the case with Jean Karotkin, who, when diagnosed with breast cancer, began using a medium-format camera to photograph women affected by breast cancer around the country. She heard women talk about their greatest fears -- no longer being attractive, no longer being whole, no longer being feminine -- and recognized that she wanted to document their stories using her own newly developed talent in fine art photography.

Gaze into the eyes of her subjects. Take note of the beautiful lines, elegant demeanors, dreamy expressions, and playful poses. These images and the women in them are aglow with life despite -- and perhaps even because of -- their experiences with breast cancer. Having fought the same battle herself Jean’s photographs reveal a profound energy, grace and connection between artist and subject.


With great sadness, I have listed below the names of those who lost their fight with cancer. Some did not live to see the actual publication of the book. Even so, these courageous women’s spirits will live on through their inspiring, powerful portraits.

Fran Shelton

Gloria Stuart

Dana Ravel

Nel Prager

Jerri Nielson

Elizabeth Merritt

Marcie Langer

Sanly Lam

Leah Garmon

Mary Nell Reck

Liz Carpenter

Elaine Saltsman

Gayle Clark

Barbara Kelley

Oni Faihda Lampley