The exhibition “Diagram of the Heart” at the Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Art (MoCADA) featured fifteen photographs by photographer Glenna Gordon and an installation of an assortment of Hausa novels. The exhibition was curated by Elliott Brown, Jr., Exhibitions Coordinator of MoCADA. The introductory wall text informed the viewer that littattafan soyayya, or “books of love,” is a literary genre specific to Kano, Nigeria. The self-published paperback novels, which are written by women, often sold by women, and read by women, feature story lines that include love found and lost, educational pursuits, prearranged marriages, living with HIV/AIDS, global occupation, and the challenging aspects of women living in a conservative Islamic society. Many of the photographs represent “books of love” authors engaged in the labor of writing or selling their books,...

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