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

Heartbreak High

If the war is an unpleasant abstraction in the rest of the country, it’s omnipresent at Killeen Shoemaker, where many of the children of the enlisted men and women of Fort Hood are enrolled—and pray for peace every single day.

Midnight in the Garden of Memory

My San Antonio was an overgrown small town, socially stratified and inbred, controlled by a handful of old, wealthy families.

Kirbyjon Caldwell

One evening Ike and Tina came over for dinner to my mom and dad’s house. Tina kissed me on the forehead before I went to bed.

Lynn Wyatt

I had no clue about the amount of magic Texas held. Texas had a persona all its own, and I was proud to be a little smidgen part of it.

Hurt? Injured? Need a Lawyer? Too Bad!

What tort reform has done to Texans in need would be grounds for a lawsuit—if there still were any lawsuits.

The Mildcatters

The lessons of the eighties boom have been internalized by today’s energy entrepreneurs, who seem nothing like their risk-loving forebears. They’re happy playing it safe, which is why their preferred commodity is gas, not oil.

Till Death Do Us Part

The marriage of Baylor College of Medicine and Methodist Hospital should have been made in heaven—and until recently, it was. Their nasty breakup is a bell tolling for American medicine.

Going Public

An exit interview with Hockaday’s headmistress.

Happily Enron After!

The fairy tale is long over, but reality hasn’t necessarily set in.

The Good Wife

Is she a “saccharine phony”? A closet liberal? A foot soldier—or a rebel—in the culture wars? The truth about Laura Bush is that her ambiguity makes her a model first lady: a blank screen upon which the public can project its own ideas about womanhood.

Them's Fightin' Words!

All over the world, and all over this country, the Texas stereotype is mocked and maligned (so what else is new?). Does it matter, really, if everyone thinks we're fat, violent, prudish yahoos?

Cast Away

For Sharon Bush, membership in the world's most powerful family had its privileges. But as she discovered after her husband of 23 years—the brother of one president and the son of another—ended their marriage via e-mail, it can be revoked without warning.

Six Ways To Sunday

The New England Patriots weren't the only winners at the Super Bowl. Houston won too, sort of.

"I Had a Great Future Behind Me"

So says my friend Jost Lunstroth, one of thousands of formerly successful Texans for whom unemployment is more than a statistic.

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