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WATCH ME GO   available now


Douglas “Deesh” Sharp has managed to stay out of trouble living in the Bronx, paying his rent by hauling junk for cash. But on the morning Deesh and two pals head upstate to dispose of a sealed oil drum whose contents smell and weigh enough to contain a human corpse, he becomes mixed up in a serious crime. When his plans for escape spiral terribly out of control, Deesh quickly finds himself a victim of betrayal—and the prime suspect in the murders of three white men.

When Jan, a young jockey from the gritty underworld of the Finger Lakes racetrack breaks her silence about gambling and organized crime, Deesh learns how the story of her past might, against all odds, free him from a life behind bars.

Interweaving Deesh’s and Jan’s gripping narratives, Watch Me Go is a wonderfully insightful work that examines how we love, leave, lose, redeem, and strive for justice. At once compulsively readable, thought-provoking, and complex, it is a suspenseful, compassionate meditation on the power of love and the injustices of hate.


"Pure, muscular storytelling … irresistible."

Salman Rushdie, #1 New York Times–bestselling author

“Finely observed ... a good story smartly told.”

The Wall Street Journal

“Read this book.”

Los Angeles Review of Books

“Mark Wisniewski is a damn good writer.”

Ben Fountain, New York Times–bestselling author of Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk

“With Watch Me Go, Mark Wisniewski has constructed a fabulous noir that touches on the third-rail of American life and the inside rail at the track. His voice is down-to-earth and sharp, delivering swift, salty pages concerning murder and jails, justice and damaged souls.”

Daniel Woodrell, PEN award winner and Edgar-nominated author of Winter’s Bone

"Watch Me Go feels particularly apt to our national present, when police procedure is under constant scrutiny…Wisniewski’s prose burns forward.”

The Millions

“Outstanding…Wisniewski deftly alternates perspectives and narrative threads… just what fans of literate and nuanced daylight noir will relish.”

– * Publishers Weekly, starred review

“A timely, gritty, poignant novel.”

Heidi Pitlor, series editor of The Best American Short Stories

“A smart, richly observed noir thriller, located somewhere on the border between Richard Price and Daniel Woodrell. It’s full of double-crosses and secrets, yes, but Watch Me Go is also thoughtful, complex and compassionate in its depiction of these visceral characters and their circumstances.”

– National Book Award Finalist Dan Chaon, author of Await Your Reply

"...wonderfully raw and gritty..."


“A gritty tale of mystery and desire, it breaks from the gate with power and grace and never falters. This book has legs.”

– Pulitzer Prize Finalist Lee Martin, author of The Bright Forever

Watch Me Go is urgent, wrenching, and—as the two entwined narratives pick up speed and consequence—riveting. The momentum carries us through to revelations about family and redemption . . . A deft and sure novel.”

Rebecca Makkai, author of The Hundred-Year House and The Borrower

"A deeply-felt story of the way two people, a young Black man and a White woman, are damned equally by the choices they make as well as the circumstances forced upon them. The novel unfolds with the pace of a thriller, leading us through the world of gambling, horse-racing, and prisons both real and imagined, all told in voices that ring true from start to finish.”

Ru Freeman, author of A Disobedient Girl and On Sal Mal Lane

"Mark Wisniewski's gift for inhabiting his characters, body and soul, is more than impressive—it smacks of the dark arts, and Watch Me Go is scary good. Seductively plotted, crazily well-written, and wholly gripping, this book at once gallops headlong and stops you in your tracks with a truths-per-page quotient that is off the charts—laser-fine insights into how we love, leave, gamble, lose, redeem, and strive once more for love. Get a good grip on the reins, reader: Watch Me Go is one hell of a ride."

Tim Johnston, author of Descent and Irish Girl

"Watch Me Go is a nuanced, suspenseful work of a prodigious and stunning imagination. Mark Wisniewski has created a literary novel of suspense that displays on every page the author's bracing intelligence and humanity."

Christine Sneed, author of Little Known Facts and Portraits of a Few of the People I've Made Cry

"Watch Me Go’s timeless weaving of narratives about love, luck, and loss is wonderfully suspenseful and insightful. Wisniewski has crafted a soulful thriller that kept me guessing until the final page."

Alethea Black, author of I Knew You’d Be Lovely

“Mark Wisniewski’s Watch Me Go is lean and mean, lyrical and compelling. It breaks out of the gate fast and never lets up.“

Lou Berney, author of Gutshot Straight

“The hard luck characters in the seductive thriller Watch Me Go emerge sublimely blessed by the empathetic pen of a master of the human condition."

Mark Ebner, author of Hollywood Interrupted

"Wisniewski explores betrayal, reckless behavior, and hopeless love with grace, wit, and intelligence. He gives me what I long for in fiction: compassion and provocation. What talent, what nerve, what a wondrous and spellbinding story.“

John Dufresne, author of No Regrets, Coyote

"Mark Wisniewski is, without question, a master storyteller.“

Anne Serling, author of As I Knew Him: My Dad, Rod Serling


Set in NYC before and just after 9/11, Show Up, Look Good is a novel about a jilted woman whose move to Manhattan and relationship with an elderly, mute former New York Yankee help her accept her innocence in her mother's death and admit her complicity in a secret crime too disturbing to report.


“A rollicking, laugh-out-loud romp of a novel.”

Ben Fountain

“A riotously original voice.”

Jonathan Lethem

“Wit and insight.”

Molly Giles

“Funny, dark, poignant, and unsettling.”

Katherine Center

"What a terrific novel.”

Diana Spechler, author of Skinny

"Part Carson McCullers, part Truman Capote, part Elmore Leonard, Show Up, Look Good is ultimately a highly original, entertaining, and disturbing read."

T. R. Hummer, author of Walt Whitman in Hell

"Wisniewski has a poet’s heart, a jester’s wit, and a comedian’s dead-on timing. This is a novel to savor.”

Christine Sneed, author of Paris, He Said

"Characters odd, pretentious, and menacing prove as haunting as Holden Caulfield’s.”

DeWitt Henry, founding editor of Ploughshares

"Wisniewski demonstrates again why he is one of the most versatile, entertaining, and accomplished writers of his generation.”

Richard Burgin, author of Rivers Last Longer


In this off-beat love story about a young man's search for his father and pursuit of their quirky American Dream — a good used car and the inside scoop on the latest scam — Wisniewski pops the clutch on a wild ride through the cultural wrecking yard of used car dealers, classified ad profiteers, swap-meet faith healers, and ever-ominous psychopathic foster brothers.


“A spectacular talent.”

C. Michael Curtis, The Atlantic Monthly

“A great summer read.”

Chicago Tribune

“Like a Mark Twain yarn.”

Los Angeles Times

“Funny, literary, ethnic and quirky.”

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

"This is a very, very funny book."

Jay Neugeboren, author of Imagining Robert

"No writer I know can make dialogue crackle and pop like Mark Wisniewski."

Clarence Major, author of Dirty Bird Blues


Fourteen energetic, edgy, and often sexually tense tales written by Mark when he began cutting his teeth as a starving short story writer.


“Wisniewski shows a shrewd hand with sparkling dialogue.”

Publishers Weekly

“I’m a fan of Mark W. for life.”

Marie Hayes, StoryQuarterly

“A touch that constitutes a kind of grace.”

– Gordon Weaver

“I enjoyed the collection immensely. One helluva fine writer.”

Gerald Locklin

"Wisniewski captures with precision the speech patterns of working class Americans, and he does it also with a toughness that is as American as Hemingway."

Clarence Major, author of Dirty Bird Blues

"These fine stories each exhibit an untidy and vivid little world, each in its own lingo."

Oakley Hall, author of Separations