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.

Articles by Mimi Swartz

Life, in Dog Years

Mar 22, 2019 By Mimi Swartz

My father always pampered his pets. So when he fell ill and moved in with us, it was no surprise that his corgi came to rule our home. What I didn’t expect was for Trilby to care for me after Dad was gone.

The Texanhood of George H. W. Bush

Jan 2, 2019 By Mimi Swartz

He built an oil empire, revitalized the state’s Republican party, gave rise to a political dynasty, and forever changed the Lone Star State. Yet the question dogged him his entire life: Was he a real Texan or merely a Yankee transplant?

Kellye Burke
How Houston Lost Its Mind Over a Trump Shirt

Jun 8, 2018 By Mimi Swartz

Outside a cookie shop in one of Houston’s most idyllic neighborhoods, a West University Place council member spied Trump’s name on a teenager’s shirt and yelled a few of the president’s worst words at her. Then the internet found out. It's springtime in the age of hysteria.

Dear Governor Abbott: Please Take Back Your Dumb Joke

May 27, 2017 By Mimi Swartz

Dear Governor Abbott, I just happened to catch your remarks from yesterday afternoon, the ones you made while visiting the Austin gun range to sign the bill that lowers the cost of gun licenses in Texas. The Dallas Morning News story I read said that you celebrated by firing a 9…

Not So Special Ed

Feb 23, 2017 By Mimi Swartz

Public school parents with special-ed kids often find themselves squaring off against school districts and the taxpayer-funded lawyers who protect them.

Out of Africa

Nov 23, 2016 By Mimi Swartz

Winning the MacArthur “genius grant” was a career highlight for Rice professor Rebecca Richards-Kortum. But it was a visit to Malawi that changed her life.

Haute Topic

Nov 18, 2015 By Mimi Swartz

Houston’s super-rich are learning to love the brand-new, very ritzy, much-heralded River Oaks District. (Maybe.)

Texas History in 601 Words

Mar 23, 2015 By Texas Monthly and Mimi Swartz

The story of Texas can be reduced to one sentence: somebody has something somebody else wants and will put up a fight to get. In the beginning, these fights were over land. The Spanish explorers came here in the 1500’s; ignoring native peoples, they claimed a vast region that…