Doing It Write

As her first book since Enron hits shelves, celebrated scribe Mimi Swartz reflects on her fascinating journey from young paralegal to Houston’s first lady of letters.

Jhane Hoang

Superb writer Mimi Swartz, a longtime Heights resident, is an executive editor of Texas Monthly and contributor to The New York Times Magazine and, perhaps, simultaneously Houston’s most effective critic and booster. In long-form TM pieces — like her recent one on the absurd, national-outrage-generating drama over a West U teen’s Trump tee — to her 2004 book about the Enron scandal, she has proved consistently articulate about Houston’s foibles and fascinations. She deconstructs them fastidiously, with endless hours of reporting, no small detail left unnoted, and then puts them back together again, in a disarming narrative style that feels a bit like a Saturday morning conversation over coffee with your next-door neighbor. She’s the benevolent queen of making it look easy. Swartz’s new book, Ticker, which tells the story of Dr. O.H. “Bud” Frazier and the creation of the artificial heart at the Texas Medical Center, and later its trailblazing Texas Heart Institute, just hit.

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Basic Instinct

Electronica may be Houston’s hottest new music scene, and Josiah Gabriel’s stripped-down sound is leading the vanguard.

Todd Spoth
Josia Gabriel

WHEN JOSIAH GABRIEL — née Noah Clough — DJs at one of his many latenight gigs, he dances hyperactively, like he’s had one too many vodka-Red Bulls. But in gyroscopic fashion, the 29-year-old producer and DJ maintains his classic equipoise and, with his audience hanging in wait, hits every drop right on cue. That’s why Gabriel is one of the hottest DJs in Houston’s burgeoning electronica scene. It’s a position he affirmed with his stellar set at last year’s inaugural Day For Night festival and by his most recent EP, EP$, which just dropped.

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