The history of American literature stretches across more than 400 years. It can be divided into five major periods, each of which has unique characteristics, notable authors, and representative works. It started with the Colonial and Early National Period (17th century to 1830) which was the earliest American literature i.e. practical, straightforward, often derivative of literature in Great Britain, and focused on the future. Second is Romantic period (1830 to 1870), next is Realism and Naturalism (1870 to 1910); The Modernist Period (1910 to 1945) and last is the Contemporary Period (1945 to present). I particularly tried to give brief introduction with specific characteristics and type of work of each period in this book.