Hitchhiking With Drunken Nuns


This item will be released October 3, 2020.

Emily Garcés’ pitch-perfect, post-Evangelical confessional brings readers a radically hopeful heroine’s journey that’s both timeless, and an urgently necessary antidote to the cynicism and spiritual nihilism pervasive today.


“Maybe the point is not to be complete–maybe the point is to be completely alive,” concludes artist Emily Garcés in her gut-wrenching debut memoir about precisely that: the art of living.

“Hitchhiking With Drunken Nuns” is a modern day heroine’s journey in the tradition of Joan Didion and Anne Lamot; a flamboyantly honest, side-splitting, and heart-wrenching memoir chronicles Emily’s quest for spiritual truth and freedom as she moved away from fundamental Christianity and into the unknown. From traveling with Uraguayan drug dealers and living with reformed Peruvian terrorists, to the bearing of two children and dealing with the suicide of a lover along the way, “Hitchhiking With Drunken Nuns” refuses to follow the standard patriarchal formula for “naming and claiming” prosperity. Instead, Emily explores the lack of resolution in her own chaotically but spiritually orchestrated journey.

Part memoir, part poetry, part mystical manifesto for hope and life amidst suffering and darkness, “Hitchhiking With Drunken Nuns” offers a radically feminine journey of healing, and inspiration for those injured by religiosity, fundamentalism, and patriarchy.

This special U.S. release includes commentary on “The Dynamic Feminine” by Tess Hall, as well as resources for further reading.

An excerpt from “Introductions”:

“Self-help culture is damaging because it emphasises the distance between where you are and where you should be. Your head gets stuck in the space between those two things. Hope is tied to an imaginary future and severed from the messiness of the moment. You dream of a spirituality that can be neatly contained, of creative art-forms that can be mastered, and of relationships that fit prescribed patterns. What happens when life does not fit this formula? Chaos, that’s what – terrifying, infuriating, sometimes exhilarating, and occasionally wonderful chaos, but that chaos is not a dream. It is not imaginary. It is where you are now. It is who you are now. It is the truth. Yes – this truth may be hard to handle, but it is sincere enough to free you from the false promise of answers and loyal enough to join you in your questions – saying hey, maybe the point is not to be complete, maybe the point is to be completely alive. 

By the end of this book, I am not the same person I was at the beginning. Whether or not that’s a good thing is up to you to decide. My story does not have the happy ending that I so very much wanted it to have. In the process of writing, I realised that endings do not exist, and that “happy” is not a destination. But oh – what a journey we are on – peaked with elation and spiked with pain, crammed with wonder and surprise. There will be times when we wish we could turn back, but we stick out our thumbs in a tired act of defiance. Then the nuns arrive…responding to our open hearts…grinning with divine drunkenness. When we feel lost and alone there is always a creative way to get from A to B – and the best thing is that A and B are only the first two letters of the alphabet. 

In 1949 Joseph Campbell wrote a book called The Hero with a Thousand Faces, in which he points out that (because of an inbuilt archetypal template called the “collective unconscious”) the same story resurfaces across world mythology: The hero is called from the known into the unknown, faces challenges and temptations, death, rebirth and transformation – before returning to the known world bearing gifts to share with others. The role of women in this journey often feels limited to that of prize or companion. I grew up reading and watching these stories and often felt excluded. I did not want to be a princess waiting to be rescued, but I did not want to be the prince either. I wanted something else. Without knowing it, I longed for a journey into the archetype of the dynamic feminine. I wanted to embrace the female counterpart to the hero’s journey. The hero is often depicted as returning from his journey with new information that strengthens the structure of society. My hunger has mostly been for information that will loosen this structure and move us towards fluidity and oneness. 

We are in an age when the new Boadiceas, Annie Londonderrys, Joan of Arcs, Dorothy Lawrences and Maya Angelous will not be swept under the dark carpet of history. It is an age in which seeds dropped by forgotten heroes will sprout out at impossible angles. An age when reverse narratives will become learning curves. An age when feminine energy will implode even the American Dream, breaking up its components and sharing them out like the miracle of bread amongst thousands.”

Learn more about Emily’s artwork here.

Additional information

Weight4 oz
Dimensions8.27 × 5.83 × .5 in


4 reviews for Hitchhiking With Drunken Nuns

  1. Peter Rollins (author of The Orthodox Heretic and How (Not) to Speak of God)

    Vibrant, energetic, authentic, gritty, and grounded.

  2. Dave Tomlinson (author of The Post-Evangelical and How to Be a Bad Christian)

    I can’t say how much I love this spiritual travelogue–its emotional honesty, its joy, its excruciating pain but indomitable hope. I literally couldn’t stop reading. It made me laugh, weep, and want to live more fully–and share a drink with those nuns! This is a beautiful book emanating from a beautiful soul–a perfect antidote to gloomy, mean-spirited religion, and an incitement to revel in the delectable, fragile gift of life.

  3. Toria Garbutt (author of The Universe and Me)

    Without doubt the funniest person I know.

  4. Katie Barbaro (stand-up comedian and host of the podcast Showing Up Messy)

    Emily’s life is a work of art…She trusts herself to live with her heart wide open in the moment, in the rich, textured colourful movie that is her life, and invites us all to do the same.

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