When Providing for Your Family Means Leaving It Behind

In The News Piece in New York Times
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Aug. 20, 2019

Jason DeParle's book A Good Provider Is One Who Leaves was reviewed in the New York Times.

In 1987, a young American reporter looking to write about life in a Philippine shantytown met Tita Portagana Comodas, a local matriarch who grudgingly agreed to rent him floor space in her shack on a mud flat near Manila Bay. That reporter, the veteran New York Times journalist Jason DeParle, stayed with Tita intermittently for eight months, developing a friendship with her and her family that spans 30 years and three generations.
It is the Portaganas who anchor DeParle’s new book, A Good Provider Is One Who Leaves, a sweeping, deeply reported tale of international migration that hopscotches from the Philippines through the Middle East, Europe and eventually the United States. In some ways, it offers a mirror image of DeParle’s first book, “American Dream: Three Women, Ten Kids, and a Nation’s Drive to End Welfare,” which looked inward at the United States and the connections between domestic migration, poverty and welfare. “A Good Provider” picks up on these themes, turning its gaze outward, toward the forces behind global migration.