History of Sindhi literature spans about five hundred years, starting from 16th century, as no written records are available for the period prior to this. This period may be divided into three eras.
First era of the Sindhi literature spans from 16th century to the middle of 19th century i.e., around 350 years. This period is known as ‘Sufi Era’ or ‘Spiritual Era’. During this period, we come across only poetry. The main poets who have contributed during this period are Qazi Qadan, Shah Abdul Karim, Shah Inaat, Shah Abdul Latif, Sachal, Sami, Rohal, Dalpat, Bedil, Bekas and others. Besides spirituality, they have portrayed the trials and tribulations of Sindhi people, in their poetry.
Second era of Sindhi Literature started in the middle of 19th century and continued upto the middle of 20th century. This era may be known as ‘Social and National Awakening Era’, or it may be called ‘Beginning of the 'Prose' Era'. In this period, Sindhi script was formalized and adopted for educational and administrative purposes. This resulted in standardisation of language and qualitative improvement of Sindhi literature. Novels, dramas, short stories, essays, critical writings and other branches of literature emerged. Main contributors to Sindhi literature in this era were Kauromal Chandanmal Khilnani, Mirza Qalich Beg, Dayaram Gidumal, Parmanand Mewaram, Lalchand Amardinomal, Dr. Hotchand Gurbaxani, Bherumal Mahirchand, Mirza Nadir Beg and others. The prominent poets of this era were Kishinchand Bewas, Lekhraj Aziz, Tirath Basant, Hyderbux Jatoi. In the field of drama, Khanchand Daryani, Prof. M.U. Malkani played a significant part, followed by Prof. Ram Panjwani, Prof. Lalsingh Ajwani, in the field of essay and critical writing
Third era of Sindhi literature started in the mid of 20th century and continues till today. This era represents ‘Individual Liberty or Modernity’ or it could be named as an era of experiments. The main contributors of this era are Gobind Malhi, Krishin Khatwani, Kirat Babani, A. J. Uttam, Guno Samtani, Mohan Kalpana, Lal Pushp, Shyam Jaisinghani, Harish Vaswani, Param Abichandani, Lakhmi Khilani, Anand Khemani, Ishwar Chander, Vishnu Bhatia, Hiro Shewkani, Satish Rohra etc.
Main poets of this era are Lekhraj Aziz, Parasram Zia, Hundraj Dukhayal, Hari Dilgir, Narayan Shyam, Arjan Shad, Arjan Hasid, Krishin Rahi, Moti Prakash, Goverdhan Bharti, M. Kamal, Vasdev Mohi, Prem Prakash etc.
In this era, many women writers emerged. Prominent among them are Guli Sadarangani, Popti Hiranandani, Sundri Uttamchandani, Kala Prakash, Tara Mirchandani, Rita Shahani and Indra Vaswani. All the above writers of this era are from India.
In Sindh itself, the Sindhi literature continues to flourish. The notable writers and poets of post partition era in Sindh are Sheikh Ayaz, Tanvir Abbasi, Ali Baba, Amar Jalil, Manik, Nasim Kharal, Agha Salim, Hameed Sindhi, Ghulam Nabi Mughal, Khairulansa Jaffri, Sumira Zarin, Mahtab Mehboob, Atia Daud and others.
Thus in short, the period of five hundred years of the Sindhi literature has progressed significantly and it could be compared with that of many other modern Indian languages.