BY CHARLES RAMMELKAMP
2015, G.P. Putnam’s Sons
Filed Under: Literary
At the end of the Prologue to Mark Wisniewski’s Watch Me Go, a noir meditation on love, families, guilt and forgiveness (not to mention an eerily relevant contemplation of race in contemporary America), Douglas Sharp – “Deesh” – one of the two narrators of the alternating chapters that follow, offers to affirm his innocence, “Ms. Price, you’re asking me to tell you a very long story.” Jan Price, the other narrator, replies, “Not necessarily, Deesh. I’m asking you to tell me the truth.” What follows in over sixty chapters, in a breathless, headlong prose style that is the very essence of the urge to spill, is a complicated tale that nevertheless seems intent on distilling certain bedrock truths – about friendship, betrayal, ambition, the tug of the heart.
Deesh is an African-American living below the poverty line in the Bronx. He is in Riker’s prison for the murder of a policeman but also the chief suspect in two other murders. Like Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO, and millions of others like them, he is also guilty of being black in the eyes of racist white America.
Deesh is consulting with his court-assigned defense attorney, Lawrence Gerelli, who basically regards him as guilty, when he receives an unexpected visitor, Jan Price, an attractive young white woman who has come to forgive him for one of those murders, to testify in Deesh’s behalf, bur she wants some straight answers, in case Deesh has other blood on his hands. Continue reading