The Winter Family

Clifford Jackman's novel follows a gang of outlaws from the American Civil War to a final bloody showdown.

Clifford Jackman

From the 1860s to the 1880s, the outlaws known as the Winter Family roam the harsh frontier, both serving and battling the fierce advance of civilization. Among its twisted specimens are the psychopathic killer Quentin Ross, the mean and moronic Empire brothers, the impassive ex-slave Fred Johnson, and the gunslinging child prodigy Lukas Riddle. At the centre of this ultraviolent storm is their cold, dandified and golden-eyed leader, Augustus Winter — a man with a pathological resistance to the rules of society and a preternatural gift for butchery. From their political thuggery during a Chicago election to their work as bounty hunters in the deserts of Arizona, Winter and his crew follow a grim, borderland morality that plays out, time and again, in ruthless carnage. (From Random House Canada)

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From the book

High summer night in Oklahoma. Warm winds that smelled of apple blossoms. Now and then a lightening bug winked on and drifted through the air. Quentin Ross caught one in his fist and held it there, with its radiance leaking between his fingers and reflecting in his shallow eyes. For a moment he rolled the lightning bug between his thumb and forefinger, and then he crushed it, smearing himself with its luminescence, and smiled, wide and empty.

From The Winter Family by Clifford Jackman ©2015. Published by Random House Canada.

Author interviews

Clifford Jackman's debut novel "The Winter Family" was a finalist for the Governor General's Award. But it took many years of writing bad novels before he wrote and published it. 3:16