“one of the best books on immigration written in a generation.”
Matthew Desmond, author of Evicted


“DeParle excels in both intimate detail and sweeping scale.” –Publisher's Weekly, starred review

“A remarkably intimate look at migration’s impact on both a single family and the global community.” –Booklist, starred review

The definitive chronicle of our new age of global migration, told through the multi-generational saga of a Filipino family, by a veteran New York Times reporter and two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist.

About the Book

When Jason DeParle moved into the Manila slums with Tita Comodas and her family three decades ago, he never imagined his reporting on them would span three generations and turn into the defining chronicle of a new age–the age of global migration. In a monumental book that gives new meaning to “immersion journalism,” DeParle paints an intimate portrait of an unforgettable family as they endure years of sacrifice and separation, willing themselves out of shantytown poverty into a new global middle class. At the heart of the story is Tita’s daughter, Rosalie. Beating the odds, she struggles through nursing school and works her way across the Middle East until a Texas hospital fulfills her dreams with a job offer in the States.

Migration is changing the world–reordering politics, economics, and cultures across the globe. With nearly 45 million immigrants in the United States, few issues are as polarizing. But if the politics of immigration is broken, immigration itself–tens of millions of people gathered from every corner of the globe–remains an underappreciated American success.

Expertly combining the personal and panoramic, DeParle presents a family saga and a global phenomenon. Restarting her life in Galveston, Rosalie brings her reluctant husband and three young children with whom she has rarely lived. They must learn to become a family, even as they learn a new country. Ordinary and extraordinary at once, their journey is a twenty-first-century classic, rendered in gripping detail.


No matter your politics or home country this will change how you think about the movement of people between poor and rich countries…one of the best books on immigration written in a generation.”
— Matthew Desmond, author of Evicted
This book sets a new standard in the literature of migration—heartmelting in the intimacy of the Portagana family story across generations and continents, and at the same time profound in its connection of that story to the broader phenomenon. Eloquence on every page.
— TOM GJELTEN, NPR correspondent and author of A Nation of Nations
Jason DeParle’s new book is the long-ripening fruit of a great journalist’s preoccupation with a story that took hold of him, and also a masterful survey of the number-one global issue of the moment, migration.
— NICHOLAS LEMANN, Columbia University
A Good Provider Is One Who Leaves is sweeping, vivid, and complicated in all the right ways.
— AMANDA RIPLEY, author of The Smartest Kids in the World
After decades of work, Jason DeParle delivers this masterpiece of reporting .... His storytelling is so vivid, granular, and alive that, once you’ve read it, immigration can never be a bumper-sticker controversy again. An American classic.
— BILL McKIBBEN, author of Falter

Family Photos:

Three Generations of a Migrant Family's Journey