Burn Down The Ground
Kambri Crews always knew that her childhood was unusual—she spent most of it in a tin shack deep in the dense woods of rural Texas with her deaf parents, wishing she, too, had been born deaf. Now, Crews shares her unflinching, emotional memoir Burn Down the Ground, which Villard published on February 28. In the vein of Jeannette Walls and Augusten Burroughs, it is a riveting account that deftly turns personal tragedy and deprivation into an extraordinary American tale of true grit, humor, and adventure.
In Burn Down the Ground, Crews, now a successful producer, publicist, and performer in New York City, recounts the rampant dysfunction of her childhood against the backdrop of a tight-knit deaf community that embraced her parents—her beautiful mother, saint like, and her handsome father, who was more of a sinner. However, strong, gregarious, and hardworking, her father managed to turn a wild plot of land into a family homestead complete with running water and electricity. To his daughter, he was Daniel Boone, Frank Lloyd Wright, Ben Franklin, and Elvis all rolled into one. But the isolation that accompanied her father’s deafness unlocked a fierce temper—a rage that teenaged Crews witnessed the first time he attacked her mother.
Burn Down the Ground is a smart mix of brutal honesty and blunt humor as Crews confronts the searing violence that has her father now serving a 20 year sentence in a maximum security prison, their complicated bond as she tries to forge a new connection between them, and the long road she took to her current life.
Crews owns her own PR and production company and is currently the comedy booker for the 92YTribeca. A renowned storyteller and public speaker, she has appeared at The Moth, Upright Citizen’s Brigade, and SXSW Comedy Festival. She splits her time between Astoria and Cochecton, New York with her husband, comedian Christian Finnegan. Visit, www.kambricrews.com for videos and photos that supplement her memoir.