Paul Spike

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Paul Robert Spike is an American author, editor and journalist. He is best known as the author of the 1973 memoir Photographs of My Father about the murder of his father, civil rights leader Rev. Robert W. Spike, in 1966.

Education and background[edit]

Spike grew up in New York's Greenwich Village; however, he has resided in Europe—primarily London—most of his life. He was educated at Columbia College, where he served as editor of the Columbia Review in 1970, and at St Catherine's College, Oxford.



Spike is the author of five books. His memoir Photographs of My Father (Knopf, 1973) is the most widely known; an autobiographical account of the murder of his father, civil rights leader Rev. Robert W. Spike, the book received exceptional praise and was chosen by the New York Public Library as one of its "Ten Best Books of The Year."

His four other work include a collection of short stories, two political thrillers, and the cult novelization of Terry Gilliam's Jabberwocky. (Spike composed under the pseudonym "Ralph Hoover.")


Spike has written about politics, literature, film, style, travel and food for a wide range of U.K. newspapers and magazines, including The Times, Sunday Times, The Daily Telegraph, Independent, Evening Standard, Times Literary Supplement, GQ, Condé Nast Traveler and Vogue, where he is a contributing editor. He launched the Pandora column in the Independent in 1998.

In 1997, Spike became the first American editor of the 150-year-old British humour magazine Punch which he relaunched as a weekly investigative and satirical gadfly, but soon left after falling out with its controversial owner Mohamed Al-Fayed.


Spike has received the Paris Review Humor Prize, a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship and a Danforth Foundation grant.


Spike has a son and a daughter by author Maureen Freely, and a son by editor Alexandra Shulman, both former wives.


  • Bad News (short fiction), Holt Rinehart and Winston, 1971.
  • Photographs of My Father (autobiography), Knopf, 1973.
  • Jabberwocky (as “Ralph Hoover”), Pan Books, 1976.
  • The Night Letter (novel), GP Putnams, 1978.
  • Last Rites (novel), New American Library, 1980.