Mimi Swartz

Mimi Swartz, the author, with Sherron Watkins, of Power Failure, The Inside Story of the Collapse of Enron, is an executive editor of Texas Monthly. Previously, she was a staff writer at Talk, from April 1999 to April 2001, and a staff writer at the New Yorker from 1997 to 2001. Prior to joining the New Yorker, she worked at Texas Monthly for thirteen years. In 1996 Swartz was a finalist for two National Magazine Awards and won in the public interest category for “Not What the Doctor Ordered.” She was also a National Magazine Award finalist for her November 2005 issue story on tort reform, titled “Hurt? Injured? Need a Lawyer? Too Bad!” and won the 2006 John Bartlow Martin Award for Public Interest, Magazine Journalism, for the same story. In 2013 she won her second National Magazine Award (again in the category of public interest), for “Mothers, Sisters, Daughters, Wives,” a compelling look at the state of women’s health care in Texas. 

Over the years, Swartz’s work has appeared in Vanity Fair, Esquire, Slate, National Geographic, and the New York Times’ op-ed page and Sunday magazine. It has also been collected in Best American Political Writing 2006 and Best American Sportswriting 2007. She has been a member of the Texas Institute of Letters since 1994. Swartz grew up in San Antonio and graduated from Hampshire College, in Amherst, Massachusetts. She now lives in Houston with her husband, John Wilburn, and son, Sam.

Stories

Boy’s Life—Bill White

Before he was fighting for the governorship of the second-largest state in the country, Bill White was just a kid from Texas.

The Lost Girls

Every year thousands of women are smuggled into the United States and forced to work as prostitutes. Many of them end up in Houston, in massage parlors and spas. Most of them will have a hard time ever getting out.

Below the Surface

In 1996 a powerful South Texas ranching clan accused ExxonMobil of sabotaging wells on the family’s property. Thirteen years, millions of dollars in legal fees, and one state Supreme Court opinion later, the biggest oil field feud of its time is still raging.

The Dark Knight

Inside the fantastic rise and catastrophic fall of Sir Allen Stanford—that high-flying egomaniac with the offshore bank, gold helicopter, Caribbean island, and knack for disposing of other people’s money.

My Life

Trade secrets and true tales from Lynn Wyatt, she of the famously fabulous parties, glamorous couture gowns, rich and entertaining pals (e.g., Liza Minnelli, Andy Warhol), and legendary whiskey laugh.

Children of the Storm

After Hurricane Katrina, Rhonda Tavey selflessly opened her Houston home to a New Orleans evacuee and five of her children. She fed the kids, bathed them, and grew to love them so much that when their mother tried to take them back to Louisiana, she wouldn’t let them go.

The Risk Premium

Most American consumers understand that the invasion of Iraq has contributed to the skyrocketing price of oil. But there’s another reason why we’re paying so much per barrel and gallon: The countries where crude is available in abundance are increasingly dangerous places to operate. Russell Spell, of Conroe, can tell you firsthand.

Child’s Play

Summer vacation is right around the corner, but that doesn’t mean you should panic. We’ve rounded up 68 of our favorite things to do with your toddlers, teens, and every kid in between. Dance the hokey pokey. Rope a horse. Eat way too many hot dogs. Zip down a waterslide. And yes, feed the animals.

The Gospel According to Matthew

Why does a rich Houston investment banker spend his days traveling the globe, preaching to the uninformed and indifferent that the world’s supply of crude oil is in steep decline and the end of life as we know it is very, very near? Maybe because it is.

The Day Oscar Wyatt Caved

In the right light, the ornery octogenarian oilman’s guilty plea can be seen as a victory: After all, he won’t spend the rest of his natural life in jail. But the fact is, he couldn’t beat the rap—and he knew it.

The Day Oscar Wyatt Caved

In the right light, the ornery octogenarian oilman’s guilty plea can be seen as a victory: After all, he won’t spend the rest of his natural life in jail. But the fact is, he couldn’t beat the rap—and he knew it.

Eva Almighty

There are prettier women in Hollywood. There are more-talented actresses on TV and in the movies. So how to explain the charmed, celebrated existence that is la vida Longoria?

Splitsville!

True-life tales from the files of one of Houston’s top
divorce lawyers.

Eva vs. Goliath

After James and Linda Rowe were killed in a grisly refinery explosion in Texas City in 2005, their wild-child daughter could have taken a modest settlement and started to rebuild her life in a small Louisiana border town. Instead, she chose to fight—and brought a multibillion-dollar oil company to its knees.

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