Wendell's Books

Author, Researcher, and Memoirist Wendell Affield writes historical narratives that offer an honest yet sympathetic view of what life was like for those suffering from mental illness, abuse, alcoholism, and undiagnosed PTSD.

Muddy Jungle Rivers

Muddy Jungle Rivers, a river assault boat Cox’n’s memory journey of his war in Vietnam and return home, gives the reader a close-up look at life in the Mobile Riverine Force during 1968, the bloodiest year of the Vietnam War.


Great for research! This biographical book features resource material for anyone seeking to understand the plight of women in the 1940s. The author highlights the life of his stepfather, Herman, a shy WWII veteran who responds to the personal ad of a New York pianist with four children. In 1949, Barbara moves to his rural Minnesota farm with her young children, including the author.

“Herman” is FREE with purchase of “Pawns” (when purchased from author’s website).


Caught between a mentally ill mother and a stepfather with undiagnosed PTSD, Author Wendell Affield’s childhood was marked by family dysfunction. In this memoir, which includes nearly 100 illustrations, he recounts growing up on an isolated farm in northern Minnesota in the 1950s and the eventual breakup of the family when his mother is committed for psychiatric care.

Barbara, Uncharted Course Through Borderline Personality Disorder

Barbara, Uncharted Course Through Borderline Personality Disorder is the culmination of a decade researching over one thousand pages of primary source documents and interviewing mental health professionals as Affield learns to understand and appreciate the woman who haunted his childhood. After Affield’s mother, Barbara, dies in 2010, Affield unlocks the chickenhouse door on the farm …

Praise From Readers

…I found this book compelling, chilling and intensely real. The experience of being there with a slice of American youth good and bad, the tension of frequently being on edge, the horror of battle and being wounded severely is the start, but the rejection upon returning home and carrying all of those feelings for the rest of a vet’s life sank even deeper…

~Harley Smith

Praise for Muddy Jungle River

Wow is all I can say. Good read!!! The details and the way it flows keeps you not wanting to put it down. Highly recommended for any one looking to really look into someone’s life.

~Daniel T.

Praise for “Pawns”

About Wendell

It’s one thing to write a book; it’s another to live it. Wendell Affield never knew his father. His childhood was punctuated by a volatile mother and an unpredictable stepfather. At twelve, he and his siblings were placed in foster homes, his mother committed to a mental hospital. At sixteen, he rode the rails out west and lived in hobo camps. At seventeen, he enlisted in the navy. At twenty, he was wounded in an ambush while driving a river patrol boat in Vietnam and medevaced home. This lifetime of adventure and instability are the foundation for everything he writes.

After being diagnosed with PTSD in the 90s, Wendell began exploring writing as a way to process everything he had experienced. He studied the writing craft at Bemidji State University. Today, he speaks to groups across Minnesota about PTSD and leads workshops to show veterans and others how to use writing as a way to move forward from their experiences.