Mimi Swartz's Profile Photo

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.

Politics & Policy |
June 8, 2018

How Houston Lost Its Mind Over a Trump Shirt

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.

Health |
November 23, 2016

Out of Africa

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.

The Culture |
November 18, 2015

Haute Topic

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

Texas History |
March 23, 2015

Texas History in 601 Words

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 included

The Culture |
February 11, 2014

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.

The Culture |
December 6, 2013

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?

Sports |
September 17, 2013

Failure Is Not an Option

Last year, UT forced prominent track-and-field coach Bev Kearney to resign because of her affair with a student. Now she’s fighting back, with a lawsuit that opens a window onto the world of high-stakes collegiate athletics—a window that many people would just as soon keep closed.

San Antonio |
January 24, 2013

San Antonio Rose

I used to think my hometown was a sleepy, slow-moving place where nothing much would ever happen. But forty years after I left, the city is a bustling, economically vibrant, progressive place I hardly recognize—in a good way.

Art |
January 21, 2013

James Turrell’s Skyspace, Houston

Houston and that brilliant artist of light James Turrell have proved to be an enduring couple, what with the California native’s inspiring work at the Live Oak Friends Meeting house and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. But the Skyspace installation Turrell created to honor Rice University’s centennial is perhaps

Behind the Lines |
January 21, 2013

Home Front Lines

For too many veterans, the emotional scars of war go untreated. An innovative group of Harris County politicians, judges, attorneys, and health care workers—most of whom are veterans themselves—is aiming to fix that.

Books |
January 21, 2013

The One-Question 
Interview With 
Steve Coll

The author of Private Empire: ExxonMobile and American Power answers the question: In terms of difficulty, how would you compare reporting on Exxon with the reporting you did for your previous book, The Bin Ladens?

Energy |
January 21, 2013

Below the Surface

In 1996 a powerful South Texas ranching clan accused ExxonMobil of sabotaging wells on the family’s property. Thirteen years, millions of dollars in legal fees, and one state Supreme Court opinion later, the biggest oil field feud of its time is still raging.

The Culture |
January 21, 2013

Downward Dog

Over the past fifteen years, John Friend turned his Woodlands–based Anusara style of yoga into an internationally popular brand. Then, in the space of a few weeks, it became hopelessly twisted amid a wild series of accusations of sexual and financial improprieties.

News & Politics |
January 21, 2013

Super Collider

Terry Grier is the hard-charging, reform-minded, optimistic superintendent of the largest school district in the state. He’s also the most divisive, embattled, and despised man in Houston. Did it have to be this way?

Feature |
January 21, 2013

The Not So Happy Campers

For more than seven decades, Camp Mystic has been one of the prettiest, happiest, and most exclusive destinations in Texas. But after a bitter, multimillion-dollar legal battle, the very thing that the owners cherished—family—may be the force that tears the camp apart for good.

Feature |
January 21, 2013

Eva Almighty

There are prettier women in Hollywood. There are more-talented actresses on TV and in the movies. So how to explain the charmed, celebrated existence that is la vida Longoria?