The devout Muslim women write their novels by hand in small composition books, which are then transcribed, mimeographed and assembled. Thousands of copies of the novels are then distributed throughout the Sahel region of Africa. The tone of the novels varies widely: some speak out against common practices of child marriage and human trafficking, while others offer readers advice on how to be a good, obedient wife. Some simply offer fantasies of escapism typically found in the romance genre. The Hisbah, who Gordon describes as the morality police, control the publication of the novels and have been known to burn books if they find anything that runs counter to the community’ high-minded standards. Gordon documents this surprising subculture in her new book, Diagram of the Heart, which was published this month by Brooklyn’s Red Hook Editions.