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

Brenham’s Paradise Lost

An idyllic small town confronts a controversial rape case involving four high school boys and a thirteen-year-old girl and discovers that nothing is certain—except that its children can’t escape the big-city culture of teenage sex.

Green Eggs and Kao

I thought I’d teach my young son’s Laotian friend about all the essentials of American culture, including Dr. Seuss. I just never imagined how much he’d teach me.

Sloane, Alone

Dallas’ Sloane Simpson was a society queen who enchanted New York, seduced Mexico City, and turned Acapulco into a jet-set getaway. But when she died last year at age eighty, she was almost completely forgotten.

Westheimer, Ho!

Accessories for sexual adventurers, columns for your Craftsman bungalow, tasteful tables made from old manhole covers: You can find it all on this reborn Houston strip.

Gossip • Liz Smith

She’s got a secret.

The Last Resort

Acapulco used to be a favorite destination of beautiful people from Texas and elsewhere. It still should be.

Good-bye to All That

Austinites thought the high-tech boom wouldn’t change them, but it turned their city into something that more closely resembled Houston or Dallas in the golden eighties. Now they’re paying the price.

Water World

Mimi Schwartz considers the wake of Tropical Storm Allison.

Nice Guys Finish Second

Is Survivor’s Colby Donaldson for real? Over lunch, the last old-fashioned Texas man talks about why he threw the game and what he’ll do next.

Oscar Wyatt

The oil boom is long over, but he and other wildcatters are still thriving.

How Enron Blew It

The Houston-based energy giant put the pursuit of profits ahead of all other corporate goals, which fostered a climate of workaholism and paranoia. And that was only part of the problem.

Fear Itself

Mimi Swartz finds fear at home.

The Perfect Storm

Enron, rest in pieces.

Stanley Marcus

Mimi Swartz sizes up the legacy of Stanley Marcus.

Pages