Lemonade is an awarded short fiction which won 2022 O. Henry Prize (Quigley), written by Eshkol Nevo who was born in Jerusalem in nineteen-seventy-one and who is one of the most successful living writers of Israel. (Guernica) The story consists of two main characters and their children, which in brief, introduce their journey of doing anonymously or non-anonymously front camera shows, gaining popularity and money over it. The characters that are introduced in the story seem to be working artists who do their best to help economic situation of their home, but then after all the effort they have done fails, concluding on going through difficult situations.
First of all, the story starts with the character named Gavri who tries a way to save his family from the economic wreck. It is clear from the first few paragraphs that both of them are not working and trying to figure a method to make money, especially Gavri. He starts the story by trying to come up with a solution to economic problems of the family. At first, he comes up with the “… all these crazy “startup nation” ideas, like let’s do an app for virtual hugs, let’s do a course for Zoom acting, and it all fails. In the end the wife has to make a very dramatic decision, in a way to sell herself in order to maintain the economic situation in the house.”(Rindsberg) In other words, as these ideas fail, he falls to the conflict of selling privacy of the family and his sexual relationship with his wife to the internet, which leaves his wife to make the difficult decision. As the story continues, he shadows that he is excited for this situation as he wants his wife to accept the proposal he gave. While his emotions, feelings, opinions and acts about the situation goes steadily, reader understands that he is a static, flat character who never changes at all and is in conflict with his wife. At the end of the story, readers do not know his thoughts and feelings of him but at the same time readers recognize that he is continuing to make the same risky decisions to make money.
Secondly, the unnamed protagonist, a woman; the wife of Gavri, makes certain decisions which makes her a complex character. At first, she explains to us that her family is not in a well-economic situation, so she does not want to take responsibility for economic decisions of her husband. However, as the time has passed, she could not afford groceries on her credit card, which makes her support her husband’s decision. That decision makes her leave the safe living she had and led to risky situations, giving her privacy to internet anonymously. Reader, who read these paragraphs would understand from these explanations that she is a round character, who changes from one opinion to another for the sake of her family. Furthermore, as the story continues she explains that the experiences that she had distanced her from Gavri and she tried to contact Eye Contact salesman who was flirting with her before epidemic, she told that she was ready to leave everything for him. One can understand from this passage that she is a dynamic character as she goes through a transformation, therefore she is also growing as a result of actions that took place in the storyline.
In brief, it is a story that includes one complex and one static character which is living in epidemic time period. As of story-line, it is clear that this story has written in epidemic lock-down period and reflects one of the phenomena; the difficult economic situation of artists and independent people. (Rindsberg) Thus, Nevo wrote this short story about a couple who are both fired.(Rindsberg) After all this story is “… about what is happening, and about the economic stress and the effect of the pandemic on the couple.”(Rindsberg)
Rindsberg, Ashley. “Eshkol Nevo on Learning to Write, Lessons for Teaching from the Pandemic.” The Burning Castle, 1 Apr. 2022, https://www.theburningcastle.com/eshkol-nevo-novelist-teacher/. Accessed June 2022.
Eshkol Nevo, translated from the Hebrew by Sondra Silverston. “Lemonade.” Guernica, 13 Sept. 2020, https://www.guernicamag.com/lemonade/. Accessed June 2022.
Quigley, Jenny Minton. “Announcing the Winners of the 2022 O. Henry Prize for Short Fiction.” Literary Hub, 4 Apr. 2022, https://lithub.com/announcing-the-winners-of-the-2022-o-henry-prize-for-short-fiction/.
“Stories by Eshkol-Nevo on Guernica.” Guernica, 28 Aug. 2020, https://www.guernicamag.com/author/eshkol-nevo/.