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

The Collapse of Anusara Yoga

Apr 17, 2012 By Mimi Swartz

John Friend, the founder of Anusara yoga, recently found himself engulfed in a scandal that has piqued the national media's interest. Mimi Swartz reports on the Texas takeaway and what this means for the homegrown practice. 

The Tree of Strife

Mar 1, 2012 By Mimi Swartz

For a quarter of a century, the Art Guys, Michael Galbreth and Jack Massing, have been Houston’s master provocateurs, stirring up discussion with their wacky, thoughtful, and tenaciously marketed “social sculptures.” But have they finally gone too far?

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Don’t Mess With River Oaks

Jan 1, 2012 By Mimi Swartz

Houston has always prided itself as a city that barrels forward into the future, and operates without memory, regret or nostalgia. But when developers began messing with the historic River Oaks Shopping Center, Houstonians raised their hackles.

Enron Ever After

Dec 1, 2011 By Mimi Swartz

Ten years ago this month, the company that once dominated Houston collapsed in a cloud of debt. But its ghost still haunts the city—and America.

Left Behind

Oct 31, 2011 By Mimi Swartz

Rick Perry’s stumbles on the national stage have inadvertently highlighted the weakness of his opposition back home—Texas Democrats.

Oil Night Long

Apr 30, 2011 By Mimi Swartz

Amid all the drink tickets, bikini-clad hostesses, and outrageous displays of wealth at the world’s largest expo for independent oilmen, I was determined to get some answers about the future of the business.

The Super

Aug 31, 2010 By Mimi Swartz

After a year on the job, the superintendent of the largest school district in Texas is loathed and loved in equal measure. Does that mean he’s doing his job?

Enroncore!

Apr 30, 2010 By Mimi Swartz

The debut of Enron, the play, on Broadway might be the perfect time to settle a question that’s been bothering Houston: Does Jeff Skilling need a new trial?

Crime
The Lost Girls

Mar 31, 2010 By Mimi Swartz

Every year thousands of women are smuggled into the United States and forced to work as prostitutes. Many of them end up in Houston, in massage parlors and spas. Most of them will have a hard time ever getting out.

Out and About

Mar 1, 2010 By Mimi Swartz

Annise Parker, the newly elected mayor of Houston, is ready to discuss any of the challenges facing her city. That will happen as soon as everyone else is ready to stop talking about her sexuality.

Teaching Yoga

Aug 31, 2009 By Mimi Swartz

NAME: John Friend | AGE: 50 | HOME: The Woodlands | QUALIFICATIONS: Founder of Anusara, an increasingly popular style of hatha yoga / Has taught yoga for almost thirty years / Author of numerous yoga books, CDs, and DVDs, including Anusara Yoga 101 and Growing a Lotus • I was…

Failing Darla

Jun 30, 2009 By Mimi Swartz

It’s time for Texas to start taking better care of people like Darla Deese, a developmentally disabled woman who has spent most of her life in our harrowing state schools.

Sticky in Houston

May 31, 2009 By Mimi Swartz

What to do in humid Houston during the summer? If you’re Lynn Wyatt, you don’t sweat it and ask a couple dozen of your closest acquaintances to a book signing party for your dear, dear friend Candy Spelling, mother of Tori and author of Stories From Candyland.

Culture Vulture

May 31, 2009 By Mimi Swartz

Location: Houston What You’ll Need: Open mind, credit card I know that the idea of a weekend getaway in Houston—in summer, no less—might strike some people as cuckoo. (Oh, yeah? And how about Pittsburgh in February?) To those folks I can only say I’m sorry—for their ignorance.

Tour de Farce

Jun 30, 2008 By Mimi Swartz

Only yesterday, it seems, my mother was taking me to visit colleges. A second later, here I am, enduring this rite of passage from the other side.

The Risk Premium

May 31, 2008 By Mimi Swartz

Most American consumers understand that the invasion of Iraq has contributed to the skyrocketing price of oil. But there’s another reason why we’re paying so much per barrel and gallon: The countries where crude is available in abundance are increasingly dangerous places to operate. Russell Spell, of Conroe, can tell you firsthand.

New Chinatown, Houston

Feb 1, 2008 By Mimi Swartz

1. Yes, Lee’s Sandwiches hails from California, but that just means it’s a spot where you can experience Melting Pot America in its myriad glory. Your order is called in Vietnamese and English; it’s a little like being in a train station in seventies Saigon. The baguettes and croissants…

The Day Oscar Wyatt Caved

Oct 31, 2007 By Mimi Swartz

In the right light, the ornery octogenarian oilman’s guilty plea can be seen as a victory: After all, he won’t spend the rest of his natural life in jail. But the fact is, he couldn’t beat the rap—and he knew it.

The Punch Line

Mar 31, 2007 By Mimi Swartz

Anna Nicole Smith died as she lived: as a bit of tabloid ephemera, sandwiched between a love-crazed astronaut and Britney Spears’s new do. And that’s exactly where she belonged.

Girl Walks Into an Outlet Mall

Aug 31, 2006 By Mimi Swartz

But not just any. The Prime and Tanger outlets, in San Marcos, with Neiman’s Last Call and Saks Off Fifth and Polo Ralph Lauren and Zegna among their more than 225 stores, are the fourth most popular tourist attraction in Texas. Maximizing a trip to such a massive shopping mecca requires a carefully thought-out strategy. Fortunately, I have one.

Guilty Pleasure

Jun 30, 2006 By Mimi Swartz

Kenny, we hardly knew ye. Okay, maybe we knew you too well. The jury, at least, seems to have pegged you just right. You too, Skilling.

Heartbreak High

Mar 1, 2006 By Mimi Swartz

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.

Till Death Do Us Part

Mar 1, 2005 By Mimi Swartz

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.