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Palooka: 12 Rounds to Fatherhood

Palooka: 12 Rounds to Fatherhood


PALOOKA: 12 Rounds To Fatherhood addresses the millennial man’s desire to raise a family, dissecting the modern male identity through the lens of in-vitro fertilisation (IVF). His hilarious, raw and deeply personal account of the process — “one prolonged uppercut to the scrotum” — reveals the silent blows of infertility on the male psyche.


The book is must-have armour for men and women going through assisted reproduction treatments, IVF doctors trying to mentally prepare patients, and anyone yearning to be a parent.


IVF leads him and his wife Alicia through months of continuous medical scrutiny and ordeal including the near-death of his wife, forcing him to confront his identity as a partner and father-to-be.


He confronts issues around his childhood and family, toxic masculinity, and his own estrangement from his father, as he fights through round after round of medical ambiguities, bad news, and self-doubt about the quality of his ejaculate. As he gets up after being beaten to the ground again and again, he finds himself returning to his role models: history’s legendary boxers who never quit, and fought to win.


“Infertility affects people all over the world, from all backgrounds, no matter how well you eat, or how often you go to the gym,” he notes. “There’s nothing shameful about it, and you really shouldn’t be ashamed to talk to someone about it if you want to. In turn, if someone tries to talk to you about it, then, you know, don’t be a dick.”

SKU: 978-981-14-6035-7

    James Thoo is an award-winning screenwriter, author and playwright, whose career in the arts has occupied the better part of the past 15 years — apart from his stint as a professional boxer when he was 27. He was editor of the industry-leading film website,, and has been published in global media channels including The Huffington Post and the New York Times.

    After he transitioned to screenwriting, he worked on several features including The Rude Mechanical (2006), which he wrote for Ravenwood films in Los Angeles, the award-winning Malaysian film, Jarum Halus (2008). In 2015, Sonata, placed number one on Scriptshadow’s annual list of the best unproduced screenplays in Hollywood. Meanwhile, his boxing feature, Hurt, is currently in pre-production in Colorado with Bruise productions.

    His contribution to Singapore’s arts scene began when he settled here with his Singaporean wife, Alicia, in 2017. That year he wrote the play Stool Pigeon, the maiden production for Thomas Pang’s theatre company, Room to Breathe. His recent play, The Jugular Vein, was produced and staged by The Haque Collective to sell-out audiences in 2019.

    Between writing and caring for his family, he enjoys great pancakes, rap music, Jordan 1s, combat sports and, of course, movies. If he had to be a character in a movie, it would be Doc Holliday in Tombstone. He coaches aspiring writers in conceptualising and creating original works at the Haque Centre of Acting and Creativity, in addition to undertaking independent film projects.


    Graphic novelist Kelvin Chan is a master illustrator (aka Rocketraygun), whose meticulous style has won him a string of Singaporean, regional and international accolades including three Society for News Design awards since 1998. His published graphic novels and art books include the illustrated Men In White (2009), in addition to being a stalwart byline at news media titles including The New Paper and The Straits Times for more than a decade. He was creative director, then head of multimedia of the Content Solutions Division at Singapore Press Holdings Ltd, before leaving in 2020 to pursue a career as an independent graphic novelist and art director of Kinetiquettes. Today, the avid comic book and pop-culture lover conceptualises and manufactures statues, working as an art director collaborating with top names in the anime, gaming and animation industry such as Capcom, Warner Bros, and on popular properties like Street Fighter, Attack On Titan and My Hero Academia, among others. Follow his adventures on Facebook @rocketraygun1 and on Instagram @Rocketraygun.


    ISBN: 978-981-14-6035-7

    Author: James Thoo

    Book Size: 6” x 9” (portrait)

    Genre:  Memoir

    Pages: 256 pp

    Printing: 4 Colour throughout

    Binding: Hard Cover

    Price: $28/- (before GST)

    Year: 2020

    Publisher: Brango Pte Ltd

    Distributor: Word Image Pte Ltd

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