Published in 1995, ‘Angels of the Universe’ (Icelandic: Englar alheimsins) is a novel by Icelandic author Einar Már Guðmundsson that won the ‘Nordic Council Literature Prize’ in 1995 and that in 2000 was adapted into the feature film of the same title. Einar Már Guðmundsson was born in Reykjavik, where he started his studies in comparative literature and history at the university, before moving to Copenhagen, and is regarded as one of the most distinguished Icelandic writers of his generation. He made his literary debut in 1980 with a collection of poems, whereas his first novel ‘Riddarar hringstigans’ was released a few years later. Using dark humour, ‘Angels of the Universe’ lends voice to the schizophrenic Páll, who has been suffering from a split personality, bouts of temper, anxiety, unrest and paranoia throughout all his life. The scene of the novel is laid in a growing Reykjavik, a town undergoing transformation: the story takes place between 1950 and 1980, a time of dissolution when old values fell apart without being replaced by new ones. Páll is looking for an explanation to understand why his life turned out as it did: he is looking for an event or a trauma that flung him into his internal chaos. An idea slowly makes its way forward: leaving childhood is perhaps losing your mind? According to the Adjudicating Committee, madness, civilisation and the world are experienced through a psychiatric patient’s mind, with poetic touch. Humour emphasises the gravity: irony is clad in the veil of naivety. The novel opens an insight into the reality which we have become accustomed to calling normal.