Matt Bloom has worked many jobs over the years to support his writing habit, including but not limited to kitchen hand, freight elevator operator, migrant laborer, truck driver, bartender, and currently as an anti-money laundering investigator. Matt grew up on Long Island and has lived briefly in Australia, Mexico, upstate New York, and Ohio. He now lives in Manhattan with his wife, Shelley Simmons-Bloom, and their cat, Bunny. Matt’s first published work of fiction was a short story in the Westside Spirit, a free weekly newspaper that still exists. His published novels are Blue Paradise (1998), A Death in the Hamptons (2002), The Last Romantic (2005), and Salt of the Nation (2019). His children’s books are Hello, My Name is Bunny! (2016) and Hello, My Name is Bunny! London (2018). Matt has also earned fiction fellowships at Sewanee Writers’ Conference (1998), Breadloaf Writers’ Conference (1999), and a residence at MacDowell Artists’ Colony (2003).
Salt of the Nation
Salt of the Nation is the story of Harry McBride, a disillusioned gravel plant worker who impulsively slugs the Republican presidential nominee during a campaign photo-op and instantly becomes America’s most famous fugitive and newest hero.
Harry’s vicious punch is caught on camera and immediately goes viral as he flees the scene of his crime and heads for Mexico. While being pursued across the country by a zealous born again private investigator, Harry is taunted via the airwaves by Grover Budd, a Rush Limbaugh-like radio host who doggedly portrays Harry as a subversive agent of the "socialist" Democratic Party.
Despite Grover Budd’s efforts, Harry soon becomes a role model to working-class men and a sex symbol to disaffected women longing to escape their unfulfilling lives. To a single mother he meets, Harry is a healer with the power to cure her chronically-ill son. College professors start teaching ad-hoc courses on Harry, a song about him goes to number one, and radio stations stage Harry McBride Punch-Out Contests to raise money for the troops. That’s not to mention the Harry McBride Society, hastily contrived to cash in on the free-floating rage and frustration to which Harry has given a name and a face.
Set during the run-up to a pivotal presidential election, Salt of the Nation is more than a road story; it’s a novel about a land riven by broken promises, thwarted dreams, and populism gone awry. It’s the story of a contemporary America equally divided and galvanized by an ordinary man’s rash act and desperate journey.
The Last Romantic2005
A Death in the Hamptons2002