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.


A Legacy of Evil

In the town George Parr once dominated, a nineteen-year-old mother was gang-raped by her neighbors. In the aftermath of the crime, the old horrors of San Diego have surfaced anew.

Zoom At the Top

What kind of woman gets her own skin-care company, a place in Nouvelle Society, and the second-most-eligible bachelor in the world? Meet Georgette Mosbacher.

Abortion Street

Sixteen years after Roe v. Wade, all the bitterness and horror of the abortion fight can be found at a single site in Dallas.

The Mythic Rise of Billy Don Moyers

A small-town boy’s journey from Texas to the cosmos.


Houston’s West University area was just a quiet, unpretentious neighborhood until the bulldozers moved in. Now everyone’s trying to keep up with the Georgians.

The Truth About Texas Beauty

She might have long legs, blond hair, and eyes as blue as a Panhandle sky. But a Texas woman isn’t really beautiful unless she works at it.

Kimbell Conundrum

Architects are up in arms over plans for the Kimbell.

The Fab Flacks

The nouvelle stars of Houston society are none other than Becca Cason and Holly Moore, the founders of the hippest, most with-it PR machine in the city.

State Final: Summit Maniacs

In honor of the Economic Summit, Houstonians are cleaning up their act and driving themselves nuts.

Call Me

My phone habit saps my energy and drains my wallet. But wait—there’s my other line. Can you hold?

Meet the Governor: Ann Richards

Revealing profiles of Ann Richards and Clayton Williams raise the question: How about none of the above?

“I’m Not a Bad Girl. I Just Do Bad Things”

Kristin Bauman, the 21-year-old with a $1.2 million trust fund, learned early on that notoriety is far more seductive than propriety.

Barney’s Does Dallas

Love, love, kiss, kiss: New York’s hippest store meets Texas’ fashion capital.

The Ornish Treatment

His unconventional regimen-and his media savvy-have made him the latest of the Texas celebrity heart doctors.

The Cheerleader Murder Plot

To understand Wanda Holloway’s dark and desperate story, you have to start with where she came from.