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.

Mimi Swartz |
June 30, 2008

Tour de Farce

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.

Feature |
May 31, 2008

The Risk Premium

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

Travel & Outdoors |
February 1, 2008

New Chinatown, Houston

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

Feature |
October 31, 2007

The Day Oscar Wyatt Caved

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.

Feature |
July 31, 2007

Splitsville!

True-life tales from the files of one of Houston’s top divorce lawyers.

Feature |
March 31, 2007

The Punch Line

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.

Feature |
August 31, 2006

Girl Walks Into an Outlet Mall

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

Business |
June 30, 2006

Guilty Pleasure

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.

Feature |
March 1, 2006

Heartbreak High

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.

Where I'm From |
December 1, 2005

Kirbyjon Caldwell

One evening Ike and Tina came over for dinner to my mom and dad’s house. Tina kissed me on the forehead before I went to bed.

Health |
March 1, 2005

Till Death Do Us Part

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.

The Culture |
June 30, 2004

Them’s Fightin’ Words!

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?

Politics & Policy |
April 30, 2004

Cast Away

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.

Reporter |
March 1, 2004

Six Ways To Sunday

The New England Patriots weren't the only winners at the Super Bowl. Houston won too, sort of.

Politics & Policy |
November 1, 2003

The Witness

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.

Web Exclusive |
April 1, 2002

Man Hunt

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

True Crime |
April 1, 2002

The Traitor Next Door

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.

Business |
November 1, 2001

How Enron Blew It

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.

Business |
August 31, 2001

Oscar Wyatt

The oil boom is long over, but he and other wildcatters are still thriving.

First Person |
July 31, 2001

Water World

Mimi Schwartz considers the wake of Tropical Storm Allison.

Feature |
May 31, 2001

Good-bye to All That

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.

Travel |
November 1, 1997

The Last Resort

Acapulco used to be a favorite destination of beautiful people from Texas and elsewhere. It still should be.

Style & Design |
June 30, 1997

Westheimer, Ho!

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.

Feature |
May 31, 1997

Sloane, Alone

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.