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Shachar Magen is an Israeli author, screenwriter, and director. After graduating from the Tel Aviv University School of Film and Television, he worked as the editor of Ynet’s culture section. His first novel, Black Slaughter, was published in 2006 and nominated for the prestigious Sapir Prize. He is the director of the documentary films The Mother of the Gevatron, Life Stories, and Strange Death. Magen is the creator and main screenwriter of the drama series Exposes and The Prime Minister’s Children, and a screenwriter for Hagai Levy’s series The Accursed.
In 2014, Magen’s Sirens, a three-season thriller, was released. In 2020, his series The Possessions, a French-Israeli collaboration, was first aired on Canal Plus and Yes TV. The series was co-written with Valeire Zanatti, directed by BAFTA-nominated Thomas Vincent (Bodyguard), and shot in French, Hebrew, and English. It was dubbed best TV series by Syndicat Francais in 2020 and aired on HBO Max. Magen’s second novel, Land of the Monasteries, was published in 2023 and is currently being adapted into a television series.
Title: Land of the Monasteries
Publisher: Achuzat Bayit
Translation Rights: World
In adaptation into a TV series; a Hot-Paramount coproduction.
In a quiet town by the Dead Sea, a man dies in a seemingly accidental mine explosion. But when similar deaths accumulate, Tze’ella, a local woman, concludes that they cannot be coincidental.
Tze’ella is a forty-six-year-old single woman living in the town. She becomes increasingly enmeshed in her own private investigation and develops a wild theory that loneliness caused the deaths, until she herself disappears.
Tze’ella’s sister, Netta, is determined to find her. The deputy commander at a women’s prison, a city dweller, and a mother of two, she is the opposite of Tze’ella’s dreamy reclusiveness. The more pragmatic sister, she has her own ideas about what is at the heart of the mystery. But the more Netta learns about the life led by her missing sister and the strange practices of her hometown, the more menacing it becomes.
Set in the mysterious Land of the Monasteries, where the Bible says the prophet Elijah ascended to heaven and John baptized Jesus, the novel is an exploration of loneliness—a taboo in contemporary Israeli society. Through suspenseful storytelling, loneliness emerges as a rich and even beautiful feeling that operates powerfully in the relationship of the two sisters.
An E-vrit website bestseller
The stirring, powerful ending of The Land of the Monasteries is a literary achievement . . . an unexpected and even outrageous ending—yet it leaves you with the feeling the story could not have ended otherwise . . . an unforgettable peak.
Omri Herzog, Haaretz
A sophisticated literary creation and the ability to handle a thick web of characters, giving each one its unique and complex role in the story.
Ron Dahan, Yedioth Aharonoth
This is a very intelligent book, moving and readable . . . it deserves be longlisted and shortlisted for literary prizes.
Udi Ben Saadya, Walla
With his stirring and thought-provoking writing, Magen takes the reader into mystery that becomes gradually resolved—or entangled.
Smadar Shiloni, Ynet
A delightful suspense book that is also a philosophical meditation.
Maya Levin, LaIsha
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