Trending
MOST READ
Beaches Be Trippin\': Five Texas Coast Spots Worth the Drive

Beaches Be Trippin': Five Texas Coast Spots Worth the Drive

Arts & Culture: Let’s face it, most of us Lone Stars view the Texas coast as a poor man’s Waikiki. Hell, maybe just a poor man’s Panama Beach — only to be used... By Callie Enlow 7/10/2013
Will Google Fiber Bridge San Antonio\'s Digital Divide?

Will Google Fiber Bridge San Antonio's Digital Divide?

News: In February, Mayor Julián Castro, flanked by a handful of council members, the city manager and a former state representative, delivered an... By Mary Tuma 6/18/2014

Best Michelada

Best of SA 2013: 4/24/2013
Chris Pérez, Selena’s Husband, Faces His Past and Looks Forward, Musically

Chris Pérez, Selena’s Husband, Faces His Past and Looks Forward, Musically

Music: Chris Pérez never saw it coming. “All I ever wanted to do was play guitar,” he told the Current. “I never thought I’d be the subject of an interview... By Enrique Lopetegui 8/28/2013
Gabriel Iglesias’ ‘The Fluffy Movie’ Bids Aloha to the Famous Nickname

Gabriel Iglesias’ ‘The Fluffy Movie’ Bids Aloha to the Famous Nickname

Screens: Although his nickname “Fluffy” has defined him for years, stand-up comedian Gabriel Iglesias isn’t worried about losing... By Kiko Martínez 7/23/2014
Calendar

Search hundreds of restaurants in our database.

Search hundreds of clubs in our database.

Follow us on Instagram @sacurrent

Print Email

Arts & Culture

'Burn Down' delivers true American Gothic

Photo: , License: N/A


The discomforting cliché that out of bad pain comes good comedy — an assurance that has, in some form or other, been made by acerbic jokers from Mark Twain to Bernie Mac — is nothing to scoff at.

After reading actress/comedian/talent promoter Kambri Crews' memoir Burn Down The Ground, one might suspect that a knack for multitasking might, out of strife, emerge as well. With a back story that you wouldn't wish upon a Joyce Carol Oates character, Kambri Crews details the subtle terrors of living in a tin shack with an abusive yet sociopathically charming father who was never without a can of Coors and a beautiful bowling champ mother who plotted (enabled?) their rural respite as a way to keep her husband from messing around. Both of her parents are deaf; Kambri, along with her brother, can hear. This makes for less miscommunication than you might guess, and the young woman, who would go on to make a living from her skills at audible communication wishes, in an outsider's despair, to be deaf as well.

Burn Down the Ground is a true American Gothic, a Shirley Jackson scenario writ real. At a bowling alley, on the eve of night that would change her life forever, Crews recalls her desire to see familial affection. "Some kids might have been embarrassed at seeing their parents affectionate, but I never was. I loved watching them kiss and cuddle. I was too young to understand my father's motives and see that he was playing upon Mom's weakness: her determination to appear strong, in control, and poised like the woman her fans adored."

Within its harrowing episodes of snakes, fire, the dread of an outhouse, and a quashed optimism amid a yearning for signs of structure, Burn Down the Ground is more than a memoir about survival; it is memoir about surviving with a sense of humor.

Burn Down the Ground

by Kambri Crews Villard
$25.00, 352 pages

We welcome user discussion on our site, under the following guidelines:

To comment you must first create a profile and sign-in with a verified DISQUS account or social network ID. Sign up here.

Comments in violation of the rules will be denied, and repeat violators will be banned. Please help police the community by flagging offensive comments for our moderators to review. By posting a comment, you agree to our full terms and conditions. Click here to read terms and conditions.
comments powered by Disqus