Mimi Swartz is an award winning investigative journalist, longtime executive editor at Texas Monthly, and a two-time National Magazine Award winner and a four-time finalist. She is the author of two books, Power Failure: The Inside Story of the Collapse of Enron (with Sherron Watkins), and, most recently, Ticker, the Quest to Build an Artificial Heart. Swartz’s work has also been included in several anthologies, including, most recently, a textbook of women writers called Stories We Tell, Classic True Tales by America’s Greatest Women Journalists. She is also a contributing opinion writer for the New York Times, where her pieces on everything from (crazy) Texas politics to heart disease (“Our Coronary Complacency”) have earned her a wide national following. She is an ideal keynote speaker to women’s groups, medical groups, and just about anyone who would like to hear about the travails of growing up in Texas. She has appeared on a number of national news broadcasts including the Today Show and The Oprah Winfrey Show and multiple NPR programs. Swartz is a sought-after speaker and has been featured at the Baylor College of Medicine Ethics group, Texas Book Festival, San Antonio Book Festival, Decatur Book Festival, and journalism organizations across the country. Swartz’s deep, investigative reporting for Ticker has made her an expert keynote speaker on the state of heart health in America today, especially with regard to women and heart disease, how our coronary complacency is killing us, and of course the artificial heart.
Ticker is a story that combines her many talents. It is, on one level, the story of medicine’s holy grail, chronicling the 50-year pursuit of heart surgeons and engineers to build a mechanical heart that works as well as a human one. But in the hands of a writer as skilled as Swartz, the book is much more: a gripping tale of obsession, a lively history of heart surgery, and an empathic look at the patients who gave their lives so that others might live. It is an American story of innovation, warts and all, a clear-eyed view of the difficulties involved in creating a life-changing product, from the private depths of the imagination to the very harsh realities of the marketplace. Above all, Ticker is a story of human success and human frailty, as Swartz introduces readers to some of the most famous pioneers of heart surgery: Dr. Michael DeBakey, Dr. Denton Cooley, inventor Robert Jarvik. They began their exploration of the heart before the days of government regulation, and learned—and sometimes didn’t learn—how to cope with all sorts of new rules governing their profession. As The New Yorker’s investigative reporter Jane Mayer wrote: “Ticker is like a medical version of Tom Wolfe’s The Right Stuff.”
Both of Swartz’ books also have Texas as a subject, the sprawling, irascible state that has been her home for most of her life. As a writer and editor for the award-winning Texas Monthly magazine, she has had the opportunity to explore her relationship with a place of enormous complexity, resulting in two national magazine awards and two more nominations (the Pulitzer Prize of the magazine industry). When Swartz writes and speaks about Texas, it is with authority and affection that doesn’t always come easily, but is always compelling. Whether she is writing a personal essay about leaving Houston in the wake of the oil bust, or investigating the brutality of tort reform, or tracing the hilarious history of the breast implant, Swartz has few peers when it comes to explaining and, in her case, making peace with a place that doesn’t always want peaceful coexistence.
But Swartz is more than a regional writer. Her work has appeared in most major publications over the years, including Esquire, Vanity Fair, Slate, The New York Times magazine, National Geographic, Vogue, and, as a staff writer for The New Yorker, profiled everyone from a high-dollar Prada saleswoman to Imelda Marcos. She has long chronicled women and their struggles—with motherhood, with the work place, with marriage, and more dangerous situations. She broke the first story about human trafficking in Texas, for instance.
Swartz currently serves on the boards of InPrint, the Houston Cinema Arts Society, the Texas Institute of Letters, Undies for Everyone, and the Molly National Journalism prize, given each year by the Texas Observer.
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Where does Mimi Swartz travel from?
Mimi Swartz generally travels from Houston, TX, USA and can be booked for (private) corporate events, personal appearances, keynote speeches, or other performances.
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Mimi Swartz is a keynote speaker and industry expert who speaks on a wide range of topics including Authors, News & Media and Writing. The estimated speaking fee range to book Mimi Swartz for live events is $10,000 - $20,000, and for virtual events Below $10,000. Mimi Swartz generally travels from Houston, TX, USA and can be booked for (private) corporate events, personal appearances, keynote speeches, or other performances. Similar motivational celebrity speakers are Robin Givhan, Jeffrey Kluger and Gary Younge. Contact All American Speakers for ratings, reviews, videos and information on scheduling Mimi Swartz for an upcoming event.
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