Ghostland America



Ghostland America is a stunning collection of James Calemine's color photographs, some never before seen, accompanied by evocative musings on the eerily beautiful landscapes and dilapidated yet compelling buildings, signs and vehicles that illuminate this road trip.

Travel along the South's old highways, from coastal villages and swamps, through the rural glory of the plains, to the rustic majesty of the Appalachians.

The images and words deliver an earthbound, joyful, sometimes desolate and thought-provoking experience.


"James Calemine's fifth book, Ghostland America, is a stunning collection of his color photographs, some never before seen. These photographs and the evocative narratives that accompany them take the reader on a journey that transcends modern times. Travel along the South's old highways, from rustic coast and swamps, through the rural glory of the plains, to the fallen majesty of the Appalachians. The images and words deliver an earthbound, joyful, sometimes desolate and thought-provoking experience."

"There are some people who preserve history by writing about it.  There are some people who preserve historical places and things by photographing them before they disappear forever.  James Calemine does both with his unique flavor of writing and knowledge based on his love of various musical styles and his love of The South.

"Anybody with a good camera can take a technically good photo.  But only a great photographer can capture the right angle and the right natural lighting to create a special mood that evokes emotional feelings and memories of someone seeing and studying that photo.  Calemine’s fifth book, Ghostland America, contains 100 photographs that he has selected from thousands and thousands taken over several decades in several Southern states.

"There are no people photos.  Just deteriorated road signs, abandoned theaters and motels, rusting vehicles, weathered old churches and beautiful scenes created by nature that tell their own stories of how their former users once lived and loved.  It’s more than a picture book just to be displayed on a coffee table.  It’s a book to be savored page by page with a cup of coffee." -DON "RAMBLIN" RHODES, author, Mysteries & Legends of Georgia; Safe at Home: Ty Cobb; Say It Loud, My Memories of James Brown, Soul Brother No. 1, etc.

"I’ve known James Calemine for what seems like a hundred years… readin his writin & listenin to the praises he laid on others.  Hell, I’ve even been in one or two of his published efforts--books that make ya think & wonder if I should know that fella or gal.

"I have always admired his photography whenever he would post one on social media or someplace else.  But this collection of his visual work, compiled and explained, is really very, very cool. Taken in total, rather than piecemeal, this compilation of his work is much more powerful when taken together as a whole.

"James Calemine is a southern man and this is the South that he sees…often gone but never forgotten.  I personally think this is his best work yet."    --Kirk West Photographer, Les Brers: Kirk West's Photographic Journey With The Brothers; The Blues In Black & White

"From no-tell motels to Flannery O'Connor's farm, my friend James Calemine will take you along for an amazing ride in Ghostland America. It's as much a tribute to the soul of the South as it is to the freedom of the road. Turn off your phone and enjoy the scenery." -Brian Brown Photographer/Founder of Vanishing Georgia

"James Calemine is a born storyteller.  Ghostland America is a lovely chronicle of a bygone era withered in time but somehow alive in every photograph.  The landscapes may seem still in these pictures but they are in constant motion through the eye of the author.  This is a beautiful book that I highly recommend." - Brit Whittle, Actor

"Every photographer can relate to rushing down the freeway seeing things you wish you had time to stop and shoot, meaning to note where you saw that weird sign or that crumbling building so you can go back, but you've got to get the kids to school or get to a job -- and years pass by, always rushing somewhere. You never get the chance to go back, or you finally get the time, but you can't remember where or what it was that you wanted to shoot. Calemine takes time to slow down and take these photographs-- and his stories give us a unique take on each place where he stopped, along with some truly interesting roadside history." -Jason Thrasher, Photographer/Athens Potluck


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