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.


Appeal to Reason

Mimi Swartz cross-examines the Court of Criminal Appeals’ unprecedented sanctions against a death penalty lawyer.

Rocky Road

For the first time in its history, Blue Bell is in a right sticky mess.

A Seat at the Table

Mimi Swartz wonders why, in this day and age, there are so few Hispanics serving on the boards of Texas nonprofits.

Torn on the Bayou

Mimi Swartz on what Houston’s fractious mayoral race says about the city.

Can’t We Ever Get Over the Texas Stereotype?

Bryan Cranston’s portrayal of LBJ was just another sad caricature of what the world thinks a Texan ought to act like.

Cities, Slicker

Mimi Swartz on how the rise of our cities will lead to a new kind of government.

This Documentary Understands the Stakes of the Energy Business

Rachel Bonyton’s film “Big Men” follows Dallas oilman Jim Musselman as he contracts with the government of Ghana to find and develop the first oil field in that country.

The Houston Mom Taking on Big Ag

First Bettina Siegel went after the beef industry. Now she’s tackling the Chinese government.

Knowing My Place

Woodland Heights may not be the fanciest neighborhood in Houston, or the quietest, or the coolest (and it can be a little full of itself), but it’s mine.

Ten Ways Caring for a Parent Is Like Raising a Toddler

If you have kids, being a caregiver to an elderly parent may feel a bit familiar.

Old Mother Houston?

Is Charlotte Allen Houston’s true founder?

Raze the Roof

Houston put a man on the moon and performed the first artificial heart transplant. So why can’t it save the Eighth Wonder of the World?

The Ring and I

The lessons of a family heirloom.

The Witness

For forty years Nellie Connally has been talking about that day, when she was in that car and saw that tragedy unfold. She’s still talking—and now she’s writing too.

“If Bev Goes Down, She’s Going to Take a Lot of People With Her”

Bev Kearney, UT's former celebrated track-and-field coach, filed suit against the university yesterday. The smart thing to do would be to make the whole thing go away—though it might benefit the larger world of college athletics to have the whole sordid mess played out in public.