By Margot Mifflin
Updated January 22, 1993 at 05:00 AM EST

Bone is the story of a Chinese-American family in San Francisco reeling from the suicide of a daughter, this first novel about intergenerational conflict will surely draw comparisons to Amy Tan’s The Joy Luck Club, but it has merits of its own. Fae Myenne Ng tells her tale backward, first measuring the impact of Ona’s death on her bewildered relatives, then flashing back on the family tensions that provoked it. Although her economical prose is weakened by a penchant for stale hippie idioms, Ng has painted a portrait of an immigrant family whose problems are at once culturally specific and universal. B+