Rachel Donadio considers the politics of Sam Tanenhaus, newly annointed editor of The New York Times Book Review. Presumably Donadio picked up the debate from the literary weblogs. She quotes one blogger and critic who knows Tanenhaus personally.
As for the fiction question, Donadio says:
And while he has no plans to abandon fictionâ€”contrary to the fears of many in the publishing worldâ€”his enthusiasms seem to lie more in nonfiction. “Weâ€™re living in really an exemplary age of nonfiction narrative, and to some extent nonfiction has taken over some of the earlier attributes of the novel, which is story-telling,” he said. “Nonfiction writers have inherited the classic technique of fiction. Thatâ€™s what I tried to do in my biography, I tried to write it as if it were a novel.”