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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

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.

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Vidor in Black And White

Dec 1, 1993 By Mimi Swartz

The story of this notorious East Texas city isn’t a simple racist fable. It’s a complicated tragedy about a society that has lost its way.

Sex, Lies, and Audiotape

Jun 30, 1993 By Mimi Swartz

Is folksy, friendly Kenny Rogers an insatiable phone-sex addict? Three women from the Dallas-Fort Worth area say he is, and now the Houston-born singer is fighting to restore his good name.

Born Again

Sep 30, 1991 By Mimi Swartz

Like Houston, the Galleria was hit hard by the bust. Now savvy marketing and a face lift have brought back its glamour.


Dec 1, 1989 By Mimi Swartz

Houston’s West University area was just a quiet, unpretentious neighborhood until the bulldozers moved in. Now everyone’s trying to keep up with the Georgians.

Zoom At the Top

Dec 1, 1988 By Mimi Swartz

What kind of woman gets her own skin-care company, a place in Nouvelle Society, and the second-most-eligible bachelor in the world? Meet Georgette Mosbacher.

A Legacy of Evil

Aug 31, 1988 By Mimi Swartz

In the town George Parr once dominated, a nineteen-year-old mother was gang-raped by her neighbors. In the aftermath of the crime, the old horrors of San Diego have surfaced anew.

Madonna of the Maquiladora

Feb 1, 1987 By Mimi Swartz

While U.S. businessmen and Mexican bureaucrats see her as the answer to their economic prayers, factory worker Graciela Fernandez just tries to get by—on about 66 cents an hour.

No Promises

Jan 1, 1987 By Mimi Swartz

For eight years, I had a love affair with Houston. When the good times ended, we drifted apart. But while it lasted, we had the time of our lives.


Aug 31, 1986 By Mimi Swartz

From goggle that let you see in the dark to voice changers that you sound like Daffy Duck, the Counter Spy Store is stocked for the age of paranoia.