Ed McBain is known world-wide for his tremendously successful 87th Precinct series --- Evan Hunter is known for his literary marvels like Blackboard Jungle. Very different genres, but written by the same man with the same marvelous sense of irony that has perpetuated his career for nearly 50 years.
Barking At Butterflies is a collection of both previously published and unpublished short stories that epitomize his genius for human observation and creative storytelling. "Uncle Jim's Marbles" represents the manic extremes of competition; "Short Short Story" highlights the ridiculous side of obsession. "The Movie Star" is an all too realistic portrait of a woman seeking self-worth, while "On the Sidewalk, Bleeding" depicts a young boy who finds his self-worth too late. Of the eleven stories in Barking At Butterflies, the most poignant portrayal of irony is found in "To Break the Wall" --- which eventually evolved into Hunter's masterpiece, The Blackboard Jungle.
If you've never explored the other side to Ed McBain, this Five Star Mystery Series edition by Evan Hunter is a wonderfully eclectic collection to begin with.