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

Them’s Fightin’ Words!

Jun 30, 2004 By Mimi Swartz

All over the world, and all over this country, the Texas stereotype is mocked and maligned (so what else is new?). Does it matter, really, if everyone thinks we're fat, violent, prudish yahoos?

Cast Away

Apr 30, 2004 By Mimi Swartz

For Sharon Bush, membership in the world's most powerful family had its privileges. But as she discovered after her husband of 23 years—the brother of one president and the son of another—ended their marriage via e-mail, it can be revoked without warning.

The Witness

Nov 1, 2003 By Mimi Swartz

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.

Man Hunt

Apr 1, 2002 By Mimi Swartz

Executive editor Mimi Swartz talks about Wadih el-Hage and this month's cover story, "The Traitor Next Door."

The Traitor Next Door

Apr 1, 2002 By Mimi Swartz

His name was Wadih el-Hage. He had an American wife and American kids, a home in Arlington, a job at a tire store in Fort Worth, and a secret past that led straight to Osama bin Laden.

How Enron Blew It

Nov 1, 2001 By Mimi Swartz

The Houston-based energy giant put the pursuit of profits ahead of all other corporate goals, which fostered a climate of workaholism and paranoia. And that was only part of the problem.

Good-bye to All That

May 31, 2001 By Mimi Swartz

Austinites thought the high-tech boom wouldn't change them, but it turned their city into something that more closely resembled Houston or Dallas in the golden eighties. Now they're paying the price.

Westheimer, Ho!

Jun 30, 1997 By Mimi Swartz

Accessories for sexual adventurers, columns for your Craftsman bungalow, tasteful tables made from old manhole covers: You can find it all on this reborn Houston strip.

Sloane, Alone

May 31, 1997 By Mimi Swartz

Dallas’ Sloane Simpson was a society queen who enchanted New York, seduced Mexico City, and turned Acapulco into a jet-set getaway. But when she died last year at age eighty, she was almost completely forgotten.

Green Eggs and Kao

Mar 1, 1997 By Mimi Swartz

I thought I’d teach my young son’s Laotian friend about all the essentials of American culture, including Dr. Seuss. I just never imagined how much he’d teach me.

Brenham’s Paradise Lost

Feb 1, 1997 By Mimi Swartz

An idyllic small town confronts a controversial rape case involving four high school boys and a thirteen-year-old girl and discovers that nothing is certain—except that its children can’t escape the big-city culture of teenage sex.

It Came From Outer Space

Nov 1, 1996 By Mimi Swartz

The inside story of how industrious NASA scientists discovered signs of life in a Martian rock and boosted the fortunes of the tabloids, Hollywood producers, and even the president.

Truckin’

May 31, 1996 By Mimi Swartz

On the road with Victor Morales, the schoolteacher turned U.S. Senate candidate who is out to prove he’s not running on empty.

Steve Stockman
Congressman Clueless

Feb 1, 1996 By Mimi Swartz

Steve Stockman was supposed to have been a lethal weapon in the Republicans’ fight to unmake the Great Society. Instead the freshman legislator has been a loose cannon—an outsider in his own party.

Silicone City

Aug 6, 1995 By Mimi Swartz

From invention to litigation, the breast implant has done more for Houston’s economy—and its psyche—than anything since oil.

Sand Dollars

Jun 30, 1995 By Mimi Swartz

Gigantic homes. Gala parties. Nonstop schmoozing. The hip summer playground of Houston’s high society is … Galveston?

Lonesome Cowboy

Apr 1, 1995 By Mimi Swartz

A year after Robert James Waller left Iowa for the quieter climes of Big Bend, the best-selling author is discovering that it’s one thing to live like Texan and quite another to be one.

Death Watch

May 31, 1994 By Mimi Swartz

In Houston, Kennie Matthews’ wife was killed in a midday robbery. Another senseless murder, and yet another reason why Texans’ fear of crime has never been higher.