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.

Style & Design |
January 20, 2013

The Fab Flacks

The nouvelle stars of Houston society are none other than Becca Cason and Holly Moore, the founders of the hippest, most with-it PR machine in the city.

Feature |
January 20, 2013

Law and Disorder

During his lifetime, he captivated Houston with his courtroom brilliance, outsized ambition, and high-dollar lifestyle. But in the year since John O’Quinn’s tragic death, a bitter estate battle has revealed who he really was.

Mimi Swartz |
January 20, 2013

Meet the Parent

In the year since my mother died, I’ve learned a lot of things—like how to spend time with my dad.

Feature |
January 20, 2013

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.

Energy |
January 20, 2013

Spills and Bills

The BP oil spill hit the small world of Houston’s oil and gas business hard. So now that the well is plugged, who’s up and who’s down?

Business |
January 20, 2013

The Mildcatters

The lessons of the eighties boom have been internalized by today’s energy entrepreneurs, who seem nothing like their risk-loving forebears. They’re happy playing it safe, which is why their preferred commodity is gas, not oil.

Politics & Policy |
January 20, 2013

The Outsider

In the post-Washington game, former attorney general Alberto Gonzales has fared worse than any other member of the Bush administration. Why?

Energy |
January 20, 2013

The Gospel According to Matthew

Why does a rich Houston investment banker spend his days traveling the globe, preaching to the uninformed and indifferent that the world’s supply of crude oil is in steep decline and the end of life as we know it is very, very near? Maybe because it is.

Energy |
January 20, 2013

Eva vs. Goliath

After James and Linda Rowe were killed in a grisly refinery explosion in Texas City in 2005, their wild-child daughter could have taken a modest settlement and started to rebuild her life in a small Louisiana border town. Instead, she chose to fight—and brought a multibillion-dollar oil company to its

Politics & Policy |
January 20, 2013

The Good Wife

Is she a “saccharine phony”? A closet liberal? A foot soldier—or a rebel—in the culture wars? The truth about Laura Bush is that her ambiguity makes her a model first lady: a blank screen upon which the public can project its own ideas about womanhood.

Business |
January 20, 2013

The Dark Knight

Inside the fantastic rise and catastrophic fall of Sir Allen Stanford—that high-flying egomaniac with the offshore bank, gold helicopter, Caribbean island, and knack for disposing of other people’s money.

Energy |
January 20, 2013

Downsizing Houston

If the crash that followed the boom hasn’t exactly been our fault, the result has been that same sad sense that maybe we’ll never have fun again.

Feature |
January 20, 2013

My Life

Trade secrets and true tales from Lynn Wyatt, she of the famously fabulous parties, glamorous couture gowns, rich and entertaining pals (e.g., Liza Minnelli, Andy Warhol), and legendary whiskey laugh.

Where I'm From |
January 20, 2013

Lynn Wyatt

I had no clue about the amount of magic Texas held. Texas had a persona all its own, and I was proud to be a little smidgen part of it.

Feature |
January 20, 2013

The Gangstas of Godwin Park

Whatever else you can say about it, the life and death of Bellaire High School junior Jonathan Finkelman is a tragic tale of drugs, money, race, and MySpace.

Behind the Lines |
January 20, 2013

Emergency!

Why are the UT regents letting Galveston’s only hospital die?

Feature |
January 20, 2013

Children of the Storm

After Hurricane Katrina, Rhonda Tavey selflessly opened her Houston home to a New Orleans evacuee and five of her children. She fed the kids, bathed them, and grew to love them so much that when their mother tried to take them back to Louisiana, she wouldn’t let them go.

Art |
January 14, 2013

The Menil Divorces the Art Guys

The Menil removed "The Art Guys Marry a Plant," a controversial performance piece, from its collection, a move that is stirring up Houston's art scene once again. 

Texas History |
December 1, 2012

11/22/2013

In one year the eyes of the world will turn to Dallas's Dealey Plaza for the fiftieth anniversary of John F. Kennedy's assassination. Is the city ready?

Politics & Policy |
July 31, 2012

Mothers, Sisters, Daughters, Wives

In 2011 the Legislature slashed family planning funds, passed a new sonogram law, and waged an all-out war on Planned Parenthood that has dramatically shifted the state’s public health priorities. In the eighteen months since then, the conflict has continued to simmer in the courts, on the campaign trail, and

The Culture |
April 17, 2012

The Collapse of Anusara Yoga

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. 

Art |
March 1, 2012

The Tree of Strife

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?

Style & Design |
January 1, 2012

Don’t Mess With River Oaks

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.

Business |
December 1, 2011

Enron Ever After

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.

Politics & Policy |
October 31, 2011

Left Behind

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

Energy |
April 30, 2011

Oil Night Long

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.

News & Politics |
August 31, 2010

The Super

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?

Behind the Lines |
April 30, 2010

Enroncore!

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 |
March 31, 2010

The Lost Girls

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.

Politics & Policy |
March 1, 2010

Out and About

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.

Mimi Swartz |
January 1, 2010

What She Wore

On the day my mother died, I found myself in the place that, more than any other, had defined our relationship: her closet.

Web Exclusive |
September 30, 2009

High Society

The Houston Chronicle’s loss is CultureMap’s gain—Shelby Hodge.

The Horse's Mouth |
August 31, 2009

Teaching Yoga

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 precocious

Behind the Lines |
June 30, 2009

Failing Darla

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.

Web Exclusive |
May 31, 2009

Sticky in Houston

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.

Feature |
May 31, 2009

Culture Vulture

Location: HoustonWhat You’ll Need: Open mind, credit cardI 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. I have