Book & Fall Tour: Cod Collapse

Cod Collapse: The Rise and Fall of Newfoundland’s Saltwater Cowboys

Details now available for Cod Collapse: fall book tour. Dates in November 2019 in St. John’s and Corner Brook, Newfoundland and Labrador as well as Halifax, Nova Scotia and in December 2019 in Ottawa, Ontario. Come out and meet the author. More dates coming. See below for words of praise and where to buy Cod Collapse.

*Now Available* by Nimbus Publishing, Cod Collapse is the first book by Jenn Thornhill Verma.
The cover art is also painted by the author.

Pop returned then, as I do now, to this porch in Little Bay East…. I take a deep breath of fresh, salty air—the smell of fish, noticeably absent.

– excerpt, Cod Collapse

A riveting account of the lingering effects of the 1992 cod moratorium on descendants of Newfoundland and Labrador’s fishers, and their communities

In 1992, the cod moratorium put some thirty thousand fishers across Newfoundland and Labrador out of work. These were journalist Jenn Thornhill Verma’s people. Encompassing memoir and history, Cod Collapse traces a lost way of life, digging into the stories of the author’s own family, including her Pop, one of the province’s original “saltwater cowboys,” a fisher on the southeastern shores of Newfoundland.

This thoughtfully researched and captivating account reveals how Newfoundlanders from many walks of life, and from distinct regions across the island portion of the province, have coped in the aftermath of the largest mass layoff in Canadian history. Integrating the varied and compelling stories of a whale-watcher, a singer-songwriter, a fisher, and a photographer, this moving narrative deftly takes readers from the present back to the early days of the fishery, and forward to consider what lies ahead.


“Verma’s thoughtful and thought-provoking book combines personal, familial, and societal experiences with historical and contemporary accounts of the fishery. She has produced a remarkably engaging blend of memoir, history, science, and humanism…. Verma aptly and emotionally describes the collapse as one of the greatest collective traumas in the history of Newfoundland.” —Atlantic Books Today, review by Dr. Jeffrey A. Hutchings, a professor at Dalhousie known internationally for his work on the ecology of fish

“We usually read about the collapse of the northern cod fishery in the language of statistics. Catch levels and quotas tell the broad story of ecological catastrophe. How remarkable, then, to have this perspective reversed. In Cod Collapse, Jennifer Thornhill Verma examines the impact that both cod and cod’s absence have had on a single family – her own.” —David Macfarlane, Author of The Danger Tree and Summer Gone.

“I was born and raised in the heyday of the inshore cod fishery in a small outport in Newfoundland and witnessed first-hand the wreckage caused by the stroke of a pen and the cod moratorium. Cod Collapse is a walk down memory lane for me and shines an illuminating light on the greatest disaster our province has ever endured.” —Alan Doyle, former lead singer of Great Big Sea and author of A Newfoundlander in Canada

“A fascinating story of historical survival, resilience, and—for a younger generation of the province—successful pushback against stereotypes. The interviews with members of several generations create a deeply textured portrait of Newfoundland and Labrador which I wish all Canadians could read.” —Costas Halavrezos, former CBC Maritime Noon host and host of Book Me Podcast

“When you’re descended from fishers, It’s likely you got a mighty tale to tell. Jenn Thornhill Verma—a native of Newfoundland certainly does. . . “Cod Collapse: The Rise and Fall of Newfoundland’s Saltwater Cowboys” is part personal memoir, journalistic inquiry and exploratory narrative. It is evident that, while Verma lives up along in Ottawa, her heart is still embroidered right here in NL . . . Verma is multi-talented—her book cover photo features her own work of art. Cod bless NL’s latest book author—and notwithstanding our ups and downs with this foundation industry, it is still our defining narrative.”—COD “Fish-Proud”

Read the full Atlantic Books Today review (p.24-25)—and check out the cover art and review feature art—also by Jenn Thornhill Verma. Coincidentally, as a graduate of the University of King’s College MFA program in Creative Nonfiction, Jenn Thornhill Verma is profiled in Kim Hick’s feature, So you want to write a book, also in this issue of ABT.)

Read an excerpt of Cod Collapse in Canadian Geographic.

Listen to Book Me Podcast (Season 3, Episode 1).

Listen to an interview on CBC NL’s The Broadcast.

Cod Collapse made The Hill Times List of 100 Best Canadian Non-fiction Books of 2019 (article is behind a paywall).

Jenn Thornhill Verma is a proud Newfoundlander descended from fishers. She has a background in radio and works in the non-profit health sector. Jenn holds a Master of Science in Medicine, a Bachelor of Journalism/Biology, and a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Nonfiction. She has written about her fishing roots in such magazines as Reader’s Digest, MaisonneuveDownhome, SaltscapesNewfoundland QuarterlyExplore, The Telegram and The Independent (NL). Jenn also paints landscapes and recently opened her first solo art exhibit at Santini Gallery in Ottawa, ON.



To purchase this book, order through your local bookstore (such as Broken Books in St. John’s, NL; Bookmark Books in Halifax, NS; or Octopus Books in Ottawa, ON). Cod Collapse is also available throughout Atlantic Canada in Chapters/Indigo, Coles, Costco and other places books are sold.

You may also purchase online at Indigo and Amazon (Canada).

*NEW* Cod Collapse will be available in the United States as of April 2020 and is currently available for pre-order at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Target, and other places books are sold.

Cod Collapse is also featured in the “On the Ocean” section of Atlantic Books Holiday Gift Guide 2019 along with other fine Atlantic Books for everyone on your holiday gift list.

Bookstores may also order directly from the publisher—Nimbus Publishing’s Fall 2019 Catalogue (and check out the cover art—also by Jenn Thornhill Verma)

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